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The Business Magazine May 2024
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Spotlight on Worcestershire's economic growth with Worcester BID, Worcestershire Growth Hub and Worcestershire LEP

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Businesses encouraged to be part of Worcester’s 2023 Light Night 

In February 2023, Severn Arts and The Arches Worcester Festivals team will deliver the fourth Light Night for Worcester.

Over the past three years they have delivered three wonderful Light Night festivals; each one a unique celebration and presentation of high quality, interactive experiences that have delighted and engaged audiences from all over the city, county and beyond.

The team have built a loyal following and attracted acclaim nationally and internationally for their work, demonstrating the impact light festivals can have on a city’s economy and civic pride. There is now a chance for Worcestershire businesses to be a part of this 2023 Light Night festival to support the growth of the event, the local economy and promote their business.

For information on getting involved and sponsoring Light Night 2023 download our sponsorship brochure

Escape the office in Worcester City

Taking 5 away from your desk is proven to increase productivity. If it’s all getting too much, or even to give yourself some creative space, there are times when escaping work is needed.


Whether it’s some quiet time before work, a break or lunch our out of the office or some after work chill time, in Worcester city centre, there are businesses who o­ er the ideal spot to escape the stresses of life and the workplace.

The Zen Shed in New Street has a full programme of yoga and meditation classes of all styles and levels to calm the mind and body after or during a hectic day. Choose from a full programme of di­fferent yoga styles taking place either in the city centre studios or online. Blow out the cobwebs and stress vibes and set yourself up for the rest of the day with an early morning or lunch-hour work out at Fitness4Less in Cathedral Square. Lift some weights or book a bike in a spin class and pedal away from the outside world for a short while.

Time out for brunch should be on every chill-out prescription. Head to Good Roots café in the Royal Porcelain Works for coff­ee your favourite way with pastries.

Hash in Crowngate serves up brunch and lunch all ways – sit, eat, drink, relax. Lift your mood with the ultimate sugar hit from Izzy’s Ices and Donuts’ new location in Worcester High Street.

@makeitworc | @thezensheduk | @Fitness4Lessuk | @izzys_ices_and_donuts | @goodrootsuk | @hashworcester

10 Cool… Places to Escape Work with Visit Worcestershire

Whilst you are living or working in the area, Worcestershire has a fantastic array of leisure attractions and picturesque destinations to allow you to spend your free time in the county. Worcestershire offers rolling hills, glorious green space, award-winning family attractions, and over a thousand years of history. So make Worcestershire part of your story.

Wyre Forest - Worcestershire’s Wyre Forest is alive with energy and nature. There is even a Go Ape! course for all thrill seekers!

Wayland’s Yard - The ideal brunch spot in the heart of Worcester city.

The Malvern Hills - Ahhh fresh air and pure beauty. Enjoy a hike up the Malverns.

Worcester Theatres - See the latest touring shows right here in Worcestershire.

Broadway - A historic chocolate box village on the edge of the Cotswolds.

Witley Court & Gardens - Once used to host the most lavish historic parties now a spectacular day out.

Attwell Farm Park - A fantastic and educational way to enjoy a family fun-filled day. Meet your favourite farm animals.

Habberley Trail - Outdoor nature and adventure trail located near Kidderminster.

The Valley - Shop until you drop at The Valley with discounted designer outlets.

The Fleece Inn - A traditional, cosy village pub operated by the National Trust. Perfect for a roast.

Find out more about what Worcestershire has to o­ffer. -

Race to zero

Philip Parkinson with Dominic LavelleFollowing COP27 in Egypt in November 2022, Race To Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

At local level, Worcester BID member business Harrison Clark Rickerbys (HCR) has committed to remove carbon from their operations and activities to reach a net-zero position by 2040. Working with local Worcestershire consultants, Go Green Experts, the firm has audited its emissions and outlined the steps it will take to reach its ambitious carbon reduction plan.

Philip Parkinson, HCR Partner said: “We recognise that our social responsibility extends to doing all we can to reduce our impact on the climate and protect the environment. Since commissioning the report we’ve made significant improvements but there is much work still to do. We’ll be working collaboratively with suppliers, employees, clients and stakeholders to make a difference to the communities we work and live in.”

Dominic Lavelle, Managing Director at Go Green Experts said: “I’d like to congratulate HCR for setting their ambitious Net Zero target and committing to a robust plan to reduce their carbon emissions over time. We have worked closely with HCR over the past year – the seriousness and rigour with which they are taking on this challenge will set them in good stead as they look to transform their business activities over the coming years.”

New Year resolutions - In the workplace or at home, these resolutions will help you go greener in 2023.

  • Limit food waste - Make a meal (or several) with leftovers or share any unused food with friends or foodbanks. Free up space in your freezer for any leftovers that won’t keep otherwise. And compost any food waste, like peelings, rather than bin them.
  • Reduce and Recycle - Recycle electricals and mobile phones, don’t just leave them in the cupboard. They contain valuable metals that can be used again. If you are having a New Year sort out, take clothes, books and miscellaneous items to a charity shop, and recycle all your batteries.
  • Shop Local - Sourcing local produce is not only more sustainable but it supports your local community.

For information on Net Zero visit or and to learn more about HCR visit

Worcestershire’s tech talent showcased and nationally recognised

Seven early-stage businesses taking part in a Worcestershire technology accelerator, recently named best in the UK, showcased their innovations in front of an audience of development partners, customers and investors at a special event at Yamazaki Mazak UK.BD – Paula Bedborough wins Tech Entrepreneur Award at Women in Tech Awards

The event, which is organised by the county’s technology accelerator BetaDen, is the culmination of nine months’ work for Cohort 5.0 on the programme and took place face-to-face for the first time since Covid-19 drove the popular accelerator online in early 2020.

Donston Powell, communications manager at BetaDen, said: “We were really excited for the return of the in-person showcase, which provided an invaluable opportunity for founders to demonstrate their work and secure the customers, investors and development partners they need to support the next phase of their development. The seven companies who took part in this evening’s showcase are developing game-changing technologies here in the heart of Worcestershire, with several already receiving regional and national award recognition since joining the programme.”

One of those who has received national recognition is BetaDen’s Cohort 5.0 founder, Paula Bedborough of Secure Socialising, who has won a Tech Entrepreneur Award at this year’s Women In Tech Awards.

Secure Socialising is a project that Paula took to BetaDen, to elevate her route to market and gain professional support and funding. The project looks at how technology can be used to promote safe socialising and support outstanding customer experiences. They have developed a keyless smart locker system made for spaces where people meet or socialise and are currently working on a new app for smartphones to make the Secure Socialising experience even more intuitive.

Their smart lockers will help to reduce crime and vulnerability and help people to have a stress-free experience.

Paula said: “I am absolutely delighted to have won the Tech Entrepreneur Award. What an amazing event… A huge thanks to the BetaDen team and all the mentors for all of your invaluable advice and support. It’s been an absolutely incredible few months since I was lucky enough to join you”.

Find out more about BetaDen

Apprenticeship success continues to grow in Worcestershire

PR – Winners of the 2022 Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards

The Worcestershire Apprenticeships hub celebrated their 8th annual awards in November 2022 to recognise the exemplar e­ orts of all those involved in delivering and supporting apprenticeships in the county with over 300 attending the awards gala dinner.

11 winners were crowned, with the highly coveted Worcestershire Apprentice of the year named as Georgina Davies from Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust, sponsored by Platform Housing Group, and Worcestershire Apprenticeship Employer of the Year announced as Redspeed International, sponsored by Heart of Worcestershire College.

Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It was a real privilege to be a part of the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards, and I would like to congratulate all the winners and finalists.

“Each year we see more and more great examples of how the community across Worcestershire is embracing apprenticeships as a viable career path and I look forward to continuing this work into 2023 and beyond.”

Building on the success of the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards, the Worcestershire Apprenticeships hub is also preparing for National Apprenticeship Week. During the week the hub will be sharing a series of case studies, best practice advice as well as sharing news on new incentives available.

To stay up to date with Worcestershire Apprenticeships during National Apprenticeship Week, visit the website or follow the hashtag #WorcsApprentice.

Apprentices deliver results

Accounting, Audit, Tax and Advisory firm Bishop Fleming has been recognised among some of the largest organisations in the UK for its apprenticeship programme.

The national firm, which has its Worcester office in Deansway, ranked 14th in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list for 2022. They recruited a record 64 apprentices in 2021 and appointed a further 70 in 2022 taking the total number of apprentices who embarked on the programme to over 180 since it started three years ago with 8 of these based in Worcester. With record fee growth of 19% in 2021-2022, Bishop Fleming expects its overall headcount to grow to 500 this year.

Amongst these two Worcester-based apprentices are proud and delighted to be part of this success story.

Oscar Bird, an Audit Associate joined Bishop Fleming in September 2021 straight from college through the Launchpad Apprenticeship Scheme. “This apprenticeship has enabled me to get straight into working towards my ACA qualification whilst gaining valuable work experience,” Oscar says. In the Launchpad role, Oscar has gained experience in different departments. He has already completed rotations in accounts; audit and moves into the tax department this month. “It has been really useful to gain experience in each department,” adds Oscar “It will help me decide where I want to work at the end of my rotations and give me more knowledge to help deliver a better all-round service to our clients.”

My project-1 (6)

Lauren Astley is a Tax Associate apprentice. After finishing her A-Levels, Lauren was torn between university and an apprenticeship, and now three years into her apprenticeship says she is confident that she made the right decision. “My role has allowed me to work in a number of departments here at Bishop Fleming, gaining valuable knowledge and experience that has supported my exams, and allowed me to make decisions about my desired career path,” Lauren adds: “I am now pursuing a career in tax and Bishop Fleming are supporting me through my CTA qualification alongside ACA.”

Partner and People Director at Bishop Fleming, Anna Averis, is delighted to hear this feedback and adds: “We are so pleased to receive this recognition from our own apprentices, Oscar and Lauren, for our leading apprenticeship programme which is now among the very best in our sector. As one of only a few accounting fi rms to have been awarded Employer-Provider status, we are able to develop and deliver our own tailored apprenticeship programme. This is now delivering real results and is integral to our wider growth ambition.”

Worcestershire hearts apprentices

Heart of Worcestershire College currently train hundreds of apprentices across multiple sectors to not only enhance their skills and knowledge, but to strengthen the future workforce within Worcestershire and beyond.

The below data, used and compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service, highlights the many benefits of employing an apprentice.

  • Hiring an apprentice is a productive and e­ffective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
  • 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation.
  • 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity.
  • 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service.

Ivan Campbell from Heart of Worcestershire College says: “We take great pride in our apprenticeship programme and continue to advocate and support apprenticeship provision not only as a training provider but also as an employer. We recognise the importance of nurturing and supporting local talent across a wide variety of industries within the Worcestershire County and actively champion past, present and future apprentices to begin successful careers.”

Abbey Tocchini is an apprentice at the college, working as a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Worcester BID. She adds: “I was drawn to an apprenticeship when I decided on a career change after having my two children. I have worked in hospitality for a number of years but wanted to move into digital marketing. I am currently on a digital marketing apprenticeship with Worcester BID. I am 3 months into an 18 month apprenticeship and am learning so much, with hands on work, developing useful skills alongside studying the theory at Heart of Worcestershire College. I would thoroughly recommend an apprenticeship for those looking for a career change, as well as those starting out in the workplace.”

Supporting Growth and Economic Development across Worcestershire

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