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Talking Point – View from the Chairman

Chairman of the Hereford Enterprise Zone, Andrew Manning Cox, writes a regular Talking Point column for the Hereford Times.

These are hugely difficult times for many businesses. The resourcefulness of Skylon Park companies continues to be so impressive, many playing their part in the COVID-19 response and some also contributing directly to the front line effort. 

As advised by the Government, key infrastructure work is to continue and that is happening here at Skylon Park. While adhering to all the social distancing rules, we continue to prepare sites, paving the way for job-creating investments. 

Work is resuming on our two key projects for 2020, the transformation of the Shell Store and the construction of Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security. Barnwood Construction, working on the Shell Store, and Spellar Metcalfe, which is building the new cyber centre, will be back on site in the next few days.

Despite the current situation, our ambitions for the Zone are undiminished. We are committed to exciting and innovative projects which are essential for the long-term economic health of the city, county and region and which will contribute to the much needed re-start of the broader UK economy in the coming weeks.

I’m a member of the Marches LEP Board as well as the Enterprise Zone Board and we would like to take the opportunity to thank every business on Skylon Park – those which have remained open, those which have switched to homeworking and those which have suspended operations – for the fantastic way they have responded to this situation.

The Zone team, like many others, is working from home and taking enquiries from businesses looking to invest and build new premises here as soon as they are able. In the last two weeks, and despite the lockdown, we have had serious interest from companies looking to relocate here and importantly, looking to access a local workforce. It is good to see businesses looking to the future.

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