Opportunity to join Economy and Place Board
Herefordshire Sustainable Growth Strategy Board (HSGSB) has recently launched Herefordshire’s Big Economic Plan and recruitment process to the new Economy and Place Board. The Big Economic Plan is a partnership document, setting a collective vision for the future growth of the county. Download the Big Economic Plan
Aim of the plan The Big Economic Plan will enable the county, through collaborative working to meet a shared vision, to address identified challenges and rise to opportunities.
Join the new Economy and Place Partnership boardOne of the key recommendations of the plan is to create a place-focused partnership board consisting of public, private and voluntary sectors, working together to implement the plan and deliver our shared ambitions for the county. The HSGSB are now recruiting for members of the new partnership in addition to seeking a new independent chair. The deadline for applications is noon 18 May 2023.
The visionIn 2050 Herefordshire is a vibrant, healthy, zero carbon, and inclusive place to live, work, study and visit at all stages of life. Our rural communities, market towns and university city are thriving with high quality employment, housing and services. A high technology, higher value and creative economy has enabled living standards to rise. We have protected our rich natural environment. Challenges Herefordshire faces some significant long term economic challenges:
- Since 2015 the county’s gross value added has declined at almost twice the national rate
- Growth in the number of jobs available remains slow
- Workplace earnings are almost £5,000 lower than the national average
However, the county also has fantastic opportunities, with excellent quality of life and environment, strengths in further and higher education including one of the first new universities to be established in the country in decades (New Model Institute in Technology and Engineering), a thriving Enterprise Zone, and strengths in areas such as food and drink, tourism, creative industries and cyber security.We are also well placed to benefit from new opportunities in the green economy, and changing lifestyle choices as people choose to seek an enhanced quality of life while working remotely.
For any other enquiries, please email
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#StrongerHereford is seeking a Communications Professional
As the 15 projects comprising #StrongerHereford are moving into their delivery stage, an opportunity has arisen for a Comms professional to help create greater impact across the portfolio.
The successful applicant will be expected to create a new strategic plan and provide a central resource to implement it. This resource will support the achievements of the Board’s objectives and work directly with the projects to inform and amplify the impact of their continuing communications work.
The foundations are already in place so outcomes will build on the work already done to bring greater understanding and participation to our targeted communities.
Interested parties should be natural ambassadors and spokespeople for Hereford and a local knowledge and understanding of our local community is vital.
It is anticipated that the contract will be initially for a 3 – 4 day mobilisation period followed by approximately two days per month for around one year. Some flexibility to work patterns would be required as activity type and dates will fluctuate.
For further information about #StrongerHereford, please visit the dedicated website.
You can find further details about this communications opportunity and download the brief here.
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Hereford Stronger Towns Fund – Investment Confirmed
Fifteen capital projects that will bring about new skills, creative places and community connections were formally approved by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, meaning they can now all move into delivery.
The interconnected portfolio of projects, which were first suggested by community groups and businesses in 2020, has the potential to supercharge the way residents and tourists live, work and visit in the city.
Now that funding has been confirmed, the physical work can begin. This includes improved access to the river and new floating pontoons as part of an ambitious riverside regeneration. Hereford will also be opening pioneering education hubs connected to fast-growing industries like video game design, digital creative skills, and engineering; while investment in cultural venues – including the major overhaul of Hereford Museum and introduction of a rooftop terrace and a new lease of life for the city library inside Maylord Orchards Centre – will drive tourism and provide residents and visitors with more flexible, inclusive, inspirational spaces.
Also green lit is the redevelopment of the historic pavilion on Castle Green; the creation of an extreme sports hub; electric buses for the city; and the exciting Southside development in Newton Farm in South Wye, which will incorporate sports pitches, community garden and employability hub to boost skills, jobs, entrepreneurialism and more.
You can find details of all of the projects on the #StrongerHereford website.
Chair of #StrongerHereford, Abigail Appleton, said: “This is thrilling news and a huge credit to the power of collaboration across our city to inspire and deliver ambitious change.
“On behalf of the Stronger Hereford Board, I’d like to say what a privilege it is to work with so many people from community groups, charity, volunteers from all walks of life, the business sector, education, and our city and county councils, who share a vision to help make Hereford greener, fairer, more creative, more connected and more skilled.
“There will be more challenges ahead to deliver the plans but with this government green light and all the energy and determination that’s got us this far, I am confident of success.”
Herefordshire Business Board Chairman, Frank Myers MBE, is a member of the Stronger Towns Board. You can find details of all Hereford Stronger Towns Board members over on the dedicated #StrongerHereford webpage.
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Stronger Towns Fund ‘Full Business Cases’ now submitted to Government
Fifteen transformational projects set to shape Hereford’s future as a high-skilled, creative, green city have taken a major step forward, with full business cases (FBCs) having recently been submitted to Government.
The projects combine to form the successful £22.4m #StrongerHereford bid to the Town’s Fund and include:
- A scheme to increase activity and watersports in and around the River Wye in Hereford. Floating pontoons will allow greater access to the river for watersports and events, while pop-up power points and an extended riverside cycle network will improve the infrastructure around one of our city’s greatest natural assets.
- A project to restore the historic Caste Green Pavilion to allow it to become an accessible community hub and to provide a modern centre for the Hereford Canoe Club.
- Pioneering education hubs in fast-growing industries like video game design and engineering,
- Investment in cultural venues that will drive tourism and provide communities with more flexible, inclusive, inspirational spaces. In particular the redevelopment of the current library building into a contemporary museum and art gallery, along with a roof garden that will provide biodiversity and panoramic views across the city’s cultural quarter. The new facility will become a world-class cultural venue capable of hosting internationally renowned arts shows and historic treasures such as the Herefordshire Hoard.
- The relocation of the library to Maylord Orchards to provide a welcoming, vibrant, modern facility to bring new life and new people to the shopping centre.
Approval of the FBCs is anticipated in early autumn, after which time the programme can proceed in earnest. For full details of all 15 projects, please visit the #Stronger Hereford website.
Chair of #StrongerHereford, Abigail Appleton, said:
“Hereford’s Town Investment Plan is distinctive for the range and ambition of our projects, many of which have been developed by small organisations. The submission of all 15 Full Business Cases on time is testament to the determination fuelling this collaboration of community groups, volunteers from all walks of life, charity, business, city and county council, to transform Hereford.
“This is an important milestone in our journey together and on behalf of the #Stronger Hereford Board I’d like to say thank you to everyone supporting these projects to get this far.”
For further information about the fund, please visit the Government’s website.
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More than 100,000 visit the Knife Angel, Hereford
In addition, more than 700 school children took part in associated workshops to learn about and discuss issues related to violent crime. A further 30 free to attend events were organised for the general public, including sessions about coping with stress after lockdown and bereavement workshops. The Herefordshire Walking Festival even included a visit to the Knife Angel along two of its routes!
During its four week stay, the Knife Angel became a focal point for visitors to the city. Nearly 200 volunteers were recruited to provide advice and information. These included Samaritans and Vennture team members who were available to offer additional support for those who needed it.
Thousands of photographs were taken of the Angel, including stunning shots from the official photographer, Jon Simpson.
The Knife Angel was free to visit, but nearly £11,000 was donated on site by members of the public. Thanks to their generosity and to grant awards from West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, West Mercia Police, The National Lottery Community Fund, High Sheriffs of Herefordshire (2020/1 & 2021/2), Eveson CharitableTrust, Community Safety Partnership and the Clocktower Foundation, the Knife Angel team has gathered a legacy fund of more than £30,000 to continue with its work to raise awareness of the devastating impact of violent crime.
The Knife Angel’s visit to Hereford was organised over 18 months by a core team, led by Alison Davies and Meryl Cain. Alison, who lost her own son to knife crime in 2018, says:
“We are thrilled by Hereford’s response to the Knife Angel and would like to thank everyone who supported us, volunteered, or visited the statue.
Many visitors were visibly moved and deeply affected by this stunning work. It certainly helped to stimulate debate and discussion around the subject of violent crime of all sorts and how we can prevent it. That can only be a good thing, and we are now planning how we can continue the debate into the future.”
More than 350 knives and two guns were surrendered to the two Knife Angel amnesty boxes (one located at the Knife Angel site at Hereford Cathedral, the other at Hinton Community Centre). These will now be melted down to produce a commemorative sculpture for the city.
The Knife Angel left Hereford in the early hours of 12 July. It is currently at its home base in The British Ironworks in Oswestry, awaiting its next public appearance in Chelmsford, Essex in the September.
Herefordshire Business Board’s Chair, Frank Myers MBE, was a member of the Steering Group supporting the Knife Angel’s visit to the city. The Business Board also provided administrative and PR support to the project.
For further information about the Knife Angel’s visit to Hereford, please visit the dedicated website.
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Herefordshire Business Board tours newly refurbished Rotherwas Shell Store
The Shell Store was originally built during the First World War but had become derelict in more recent years. Thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Herefordshire Council and a loan from the Marches LEP’s Marches Investment Fund, it has now been sensitively restored to create more than 2,000 square metres of employment space.
Business Board members were pleased to see that much of the original factory structure is still in place. They toured the 25 business incubation units of various sizes and configurations located within, as well as being shown the café area and other facilities.
Frank Myers MBE, Chairman of the Herefordshire Business Board, said:
“It’s been great to tour the facility with Business Board members. The Shell Store is ideal for new and growing businesses, with easy in and out leasing options to suit their needs. It’s just the sort of facility Herefordshire needs to encourage new and upcoming businesses to invest and create jobs in the county.”
The Shell Store also houses the Marches Growth Hub, the Marches Enterprise Zone team and the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. This means that businesses can access the advice and support they need in order to expand and develop.
It is hoped that the facility will eventually become a focal point for all businesses in the area, providing a space to network and collaborate.
For details of the Shell Store, please visit the dedicated web page.
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Hereford receives £22.4 million from Towns’ Fund
On 8 June 2021, we heard the fantastic news that Hereford had been successful in its bid for funding from the Government’s Towns’ Fund. A total of £22.4 million has been secured for the development of up to 15 transformational projects included in the city’s ‘Town’s Investment Plan’ (TIP).
The projects were submitted after extensive engagement and reflect local and national priorities which address the challenges we face – low social mobility, a debilitating skills gap, deprivation south of the river and the climate crisis.
The news is a huge boost to the city’s regeneration and post-Covid recovery and, crucially, opens up a wider conversation with government and independent groups (such as the #StrongerHereford board) on future ways to revitalise Hereford.
The board will now review the shortlisted projects put forward and start developing the business case which will be submitted back to Government for approval. The aim is for projects to be ready for delivery so that once investment is received, work can begin straight away.
Some of the projects put forward are:
- The redevelopment of the Maylord Orchard Shopping Centre into a state-of-the-art library, information resource centre and cultural hub
- The development of ‘Southside’ – a new sports, food and skills community focal point for the people of South Wye
- Major investment in ‘City Zipper’ electric buses
- The development of a new NMITE Future of Work Skills Hub to help all Hereford residents understand and identify career opportunities, and support them to achieve their ambitions
- Improvements to the current Holmer Road skatepark to encourage additional wheeled sports activities
- Refurbishment of the Castle Green Pavilion to provide a revitalised home for the Youth Canoe Club, café facilities, a multi-functional and flexible community meeting space and a gallery celebrating local arts and heritage
- A new, world-class contemporary museum facility to accommodate Hereford’s significant heritage treasures.
Details of all of the projects in the TIP can be accessed through the #StrongerHereford website.
Lauren Rogers, Chair of the #StrongerHereford Board commented:
“After many months of hard work from everyone involved, especially the residents, communities and businesses who put forward project ideas and
worked with us to develop the Town Investment Plan, it’s fair to say we are delighted. This funding will deliver a programme of work that will help Hereford become a thriving city that is green, fair, connected, digital and cultural.”
Cllr Ellie Chowns, Cabinet member for Environment and Economy, said:
“We are delighted with the announcement that Hereford will receive this funding from the Government’s Towns Fund programme. We have already seen some fantastic projects undertaken thanks to the previous Accelerated Towns Fund investment, and this further funding will mean the council and #StrongerHereford Board can now explore and develop the exciting transformational projects included in the city’s ‘Town’s Investment Plan’.”
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Knife Angel Conference Details Announced
Booking is now open for the Knife Angel Hereford Conference, taking place virtually on Wednesday 9 June from 9.30 am – 4.30 pm.
Entitled: ‘Crime in 2021 – From Knowledge to Practice’, the conference is being delivered to support the Knife Angel’s visit to the city. The Knife Angel 27 foot sculpture, made from more than 100,000 confiscated knives and blades, will arrive in Hereford on 14 June and will be located outside the Hereford Cathedral’s West door until 11 July.
The Conference is targeted at professionals who have an interest in current research and thinking in the areas of violence and its consequences in the community. It’s free of charge to attend, but donations to the Knife Angel Hereford are welcomed to support legacy workshops in the local community.
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Herefordshire Business Board supports Knife Angel visit
Herefordshire Business Board is proud to support the visit of the Knife Angel to Hereford City next summer.
The Knife Angel, otherwise known as the National Monument Against Violence and Aggression, will be hosted by Hereford Cathedral for 28 days from 14 June to 12 July 2021 (revised dates). It is a stunning sculpture standing 27ft high and weighing 3.5 tons that is made entirely from over 100,000 knives received from 43 police forces across the UK. Bringing it to Hereford will raise awareness of the catastrophic impact that violent and drug crime has on individuals, families and communities.
Herefordshire Business Board’s Chairman, Frank Myers MBE, is on the Knife Angel Hereford’s Steering Committee and Herefordshire Business Board is investing in the community by providing admin support to the Knife Angel Hereford Project Team. The Board believes that the sculpture’s visit to Hereford will attract a significant number of tourists to the county, with clear benefits to the local economy.
The Knife Angel Project team (led by Alison Davies – who lost her son to knife crime in 2018 – and Meryl Cain) is looking for sponsors (in kind and cash) and volunteers to help with the Knife Angel’s visit to Hereford. Further details are available by Knife Angel Sponsors Brochure – Final – or please visit the project’s website. To express your interest in the project, please email: email@example.com.
The Bishop of Hereford, who Chairs the Knife Angel Hereford’s Steering Committee, recorded a Christmas message of support. This can be viewed on the Hereford Cathedral You Tube channel.
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New High Sheriff for Herefordshire focuses on ‘Preparing Young People for Work’
Herefordshire’s new High Sheriff, Tricia Thomas, took up office on 20 March 2020 after a low-key ceremony held in Hereford. Due to the Coronavirus and associated social distancing rules, none of the pomp and ceremony usually associated with the occasion was possible. Nevertheless, Tricia commented at her declaration that she is both delighted and honoured to be appointed to the role.
Tricia has been planning the theme for her year in office, ‘Preparing Young People for Work’, for some time. As a business owner herself – she runs Leominster based Thomas Panels and Profiles with her husband, Richie and son George – she speaks passionately on the subject and has already started working with Herefordshire Business Board to identify specific projects that will benefit both young people and their future employers.
Tricia says: “The Coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly mean that my year in office will take a different path to the one I had anticipated. However, prior to the outbreak I had been meeting regularly with the Herefordshire Business Board and together we have developed some exciting plans. I am determined to make use of the opportunity in my Shrieval year to develop young people’s skills and look forward to bringing these plans to fruition as soon as circumstances allow.”
Frank Myers MBE, Chairman of Herefordshire Business Board, added: “We were delighted when Trish approached us last year with her ideas, as these aligned closely with an initiative which the Business Board was keen to encourage. She was eager to hit the ground running once her term of office began and our working group have spent some time with her in the past twelve months planning to make the most of her initiative. It is, of course, disappointing that this has been put on hold for the time being but we are all poised to support her just as soon as we can.”
Tricia can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. She has also set up a Facebook page (@HighSheriffofHerefordshire) and would be interested to hear from any organisation, charity or individual who would like to know more about or get involved with her Shrieval year ambitions.
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