Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, visited the Worcestershire Hour Festival of Business last Friday held on Worcester’s High Street and in the Guildhall.

The Festival of Business was organised by Worcestershire Enterprise Limited, the social enterprise behind the twice weekly phenomenon on Twitter known as #WorcestershireHour. In addition to their main sponsor Sanlam UK they received sponsorship from Worcestershire Ambassadors, Worcestershire LEP, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Worcester City Council & University of Worcester Business School.

Money raised from the event goes towards a 14 week entrepreneurial training programme that will teach local disadvantaged young people, the knowledge and skills required to set up their own businesses.

The event was also visited by the Natwest StartUp Bus which will hopefully inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs where Robin met with NatWest representatives to discuss the range of business support they can offer both to start ups and scale up companies. He also met local entrepreneur Dan Lewis on board the bus to discuss how start-ups and entrepreneurs can be better supported in the County.

He spent over four hours touring the stands and meeting with the wide range of local businesses taking part in the event and met a number of different businesses who are either recruiting new staff or taking on apprentices. These included Open GI, the software company based in Blackpole that underpins the insurance market, ESP, a local paper and packaging company that has just won a major contract to supply the NHS and Driver Hire. Robin also met with a number of voluntary organisations, colleges and training organisations who are involved in promoting apprenticeships. The exhibitors ranged from large businesses such as Andrew Grant and Harrison Clark down to small start-ups such as the Worcester Eyecare Centre, which Robin recently helped to open on Sidbury.

Robin said:

“I warmly welcome this celebration of local business and I enjoyed visiting the exhibitors. It was positive to hear how local businesses such as ESP, Driver Hire and Open GI are out actively hiring and recruiting local people. In general the mood was one of optimism and celebration of the success of local businesses. This is encouraging and along with the buzz around the high street gives me real confidence for our local economy.”

“The festival helps to showcase world class Worcester’s businesses, support the networks between them and inspire the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. One of the most impressive things about it was to meet some of the young people who had been through the entrepreneurship programme it will help to fund. They were truly inspirational and a credit to their backers. Stuart Allen has done a great job in bringing it all together and I was delighted to see such a range of growing businesses from the large to the very small.”

“Having the start-up Britain bus visit Worcester will be an inspiration to many and it would be great to see more businesses starting out in our city and growing. We have some fantastic stories of entrepreneurial success but I am confident with the skilled people and excellent location, not to mention the support of our local colleges and university we can see even more in the future.”


Notes to Editors

For full details of the event see:

For more information on Worcesterhire hour see:

For more information on Robin’s support for local business see: