Like many towns across the UK, Redditch’s economy will have been hit hard by the impact of coronavirus.

Despite the unprecedented package of support the Government has provided for the economy, with the furlough scheme and billions of pounds worth of grants and loans, sadly not every business and not every job will be saved.

As a former business owner myself, I know the blood, sweat and tears that goes into setting up a business. I also know the devastation of losing a business and everything you worked so hard to achieve. My heart goes out to anyone who finds themselves in that situation.

What’s disappointing is we were making progress and huge strides in unlocking Redditch’s full potential – but we must now redouble our efforts in the wake of coronavirus.

Working with my local government colleagues as part of our ‘One Redditch’ approach, we are working on an ambitious 10-point plan setting out our vision for the future of Redditch.

With all tiers of government working together – we are being more ambitious than ever before in our determination to ensure Redditch is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

This is why the top priority in our plan remains returning services to the Alexandra Hospital. As our town grows, we want women to be able to give birth at their local hospital and for children to be treated in emergencies at the Alex too. We won’t return services overnight, but progress is being made.

Redditch is already home to world-leading businesses, but we mustn’t be complacent, and we should continue to ensure our town is business friendly. Our plan will tackle the skills gap I hear so much about from local businesses.

And as we build back better, cleaner and greener, we will make Redditch one of the greenest towns in the UK.

We’re currently finalising these plans, but in the coming weeks we will share this ambitious vision with you. Together, lets continue to unlock Redditch’s full potential.