The economy of Warwickshire looks set for a boost in 2017 with continued investment and a boom in tourism, according to Major Richard Carney MBE.
The Director of Operations of IXL Events Ltd in Southam, who is overseeing a £122 million investment in Dallas Burston Polo Club, believes the county will prosper because it is a good place in which to work and live.
“It is not surprising that companies are attracted to Warwickshire because it has a skilled workforce, is close to major transport links and offers a good work-life balance,” said Major Carney.
“With the resurgence of the automotive sector, a growing computer gaming industry and a thriving SME sector creating more jobs than the national average, signs are good for the year ahead. There is a real vibrancy in the air.
“Warwickshire is full of enterprising, creative and innovative people who are helping to shape the technology of tomorrow and international companies are recognising that with major investments. It is an exciting place to be and one which offers a host of opportunities.
“The leisure industry is also buzzing. The fall in the pound following the EU referendum is making it cheaper for overseas visitors to come to the UK and Warwickshire, with its Shakespeare connections and Warwick Castle, has always been an attractive destination for them.
“Equally, the increased cost of going abroad means that more UK holiday-makers will be choosing “staycations” and shorter breaks in the UK.”
Indeed the Lonely Planet guide put Warwickshire in the top 10 places to visit in Europe in 2016 and the county council is predicting a £7.5 million increase in tourism revenue in 2017 fuelled by the fall in the pound.
People are also happy to live in Warwickshire. Indeed recent research revealed that 9 out of 10 residents of the county were “very satisfied” or “fairly satisfied” with their local area, according to the Warwickshire Observatory, which gathers official data.
Significant investments are planned by Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin and Zehjiang Geely, owners of the London Taxi Company. All are well-placed to take advantage of the Government’s recent pledge to invest £390 million into the development of the next generation of electric and autonomous cars.
JLR, which unveiled its first electric car, the I-PACE Concept, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2016, plans to double the size of its advanced engineering and design centre at Whitley, Coventry while also expanding its base at Gaydon, Warwickshire.
Geely is developing low-emission taxis at its new base in Ansty, Warwickshire, where it is creating around 1,000 jobs while luxury car maker Aston Martin is creating 250 jobs at its manufacturing base in Gaydon.
At Dallas Burston Polo Club Major Carney is looking forward to completing more of the £122 million development which planned for the site on the Stoneythorpe Estate and which will make the club a visitor destination centre in its own right.
The proposal includes plans for both a three-star and a five-star hotel, luxury lodges and yurts, an 80-bed care home for dementia patients, 99-bed extra care unit, a primary school, local store and 700 homes.