News Story


Speaking to a group of ambassadors and trade representatives from various countries and to business people from Worcestershire at the Worcestershire Trade Fair held at Worcester Bosch’s UK headquarters in Worcester today, Friday 30th March 2012, Peter Luff, MP for Mid Worcestershire said:

“Worcestershire - where's that?” That’s what London cab drivers often say to me when I say I’m the MP for Mid Worcestershire.

Sometimes I think Worcestershire is the UK’s best kept secret.

But today I want to try to change that.

When it comes to doing business there are three great reasons for thinking of Worcestershire:
o Its great history
o Its great location
o And the great businesses that are already here.


Worcestershire is Tolkien's Shire in “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings”.

It is Narnia as the gas lamps of Malvern give silent testimony.

It is Ambridge’s county of Borsetshire in the UK's longest running soap, Radio Four’s “The Archers” and there’s The Bull at Inkberrow to prove it.

It is the county that gave birth to and inspired Elgar - our county of hope and glory.

It was home to one of our finest Prime Minister's Stanley Baldwin. And to one of our finest poets, A E Housman.

The inventor of the postage stamp Rowland Hill was born here – although he probably never expected to see the price of a stamp reach 60p!

The reluctant author of British liberty, the principal signatory of the Magna Carta, King John, is buried in Worcester Cathedral.

The cross of St George was first displayed here in 1265 when, at the battle of Evesham, the future King Edward I carried it into battle against the creator of English parliamentary democracy, Simon de Montfort.

The first and last battles of the English Civil War were waged around Worcester.

It is famous for its Worcestershire Sauce, its Morgan Cars and its asparagus.

And its cricket team plays at the cricket ground with the finest view in the world.


It is the Heart of England.

The county sits between its famous hills - the Malverns, Bredon, the Lickey Hills and fine countryside on either side of Britain’s longest river, the Severn.

It runs from the beautiful Cotswolds village of Broadway to the border of Birmingham.

It has a truly strategic location for business.

Worcestershire’s businesses enjoy easy access to the motorway network, to the M5, M50, M40 and M42 putting Birmingham, Bristol, Swindon, Oxford, and Cardiff all within the hour.

Recent investment in the rail network has dramatically improved access to London, and I expect to see further improvements in the near future.

Birmingham International Airport is on our doorstep.

We have excellent state schools - and well known and successful private ones too in Malvern, Worcester and Bromsgrove.

There is an expanding and increasingly successful and popular university in Worcester and a network of further education colleges around the county.

And I know how important good leisure facilities are to business people.

We have premiership cricket and rugby, good sports clubs and a host of good golf clubs.

And there is excellent culture in and around the county;

• Three Choirs Festival,
• Malvern Festival Theatre,
• Many cinemas and arts centres,
• Shakespeare's Stratford and the Royal Shakespeare Company
• Birmingham Symphony Hall and the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

All this and low property prices too. It’s a great combination.


We have a highly diverse economy from growing fruit and vegetables to, quite literally, the most advanced technology anywhere in UK.

Historic names like Lea & Perrins and Morgan Cars are still proudly flourishing in 21st Century.

But there are many other celebrated names like:

• Worcester Bosch –our hosts today

• GKN whose HQ is at Redditch

• Sealine luxury boats at Kidderminster

• Harris paint brushes at Bromsgrove

• And the advanced defence research company QinetiQ at Malvern

And there is a host of other engineering firms supplying the automotive, aerospace and defence sectors, and many more. Anyone who says manufacturing is dead in the UK just doesn’t understand our strength in depth in so many areas, and in so many parts of this county.

And our farming and growing means we have outstanding food businesses too, including:

• One of the biggest dairies in Europe; Robert Wiseman at Droitwich
• One of biggest salad production lines in the Vale of Evesham; Kanes Foods

The strong presence of logistics firms and warehousing shows their enthusiasm to exploit Worcestershire’s strategic location.

On top of all that we have a strong Chamber of Commerce and a network of professional support for business.

Perhaps the final ingredient is one of the most important - six excellent local councils, like Wychavon, and an outstanding county council, together with six MPs all of whom genuinely support business.

Worcestershire is a great place to live and work and it’s open for business.


Back to News