I’ve talked in earlier columns about how I believe Watford Borough Council has a direct role to play in reviving our economy, through our major projects – like the Town Centre improvements, Croxley Rail Link and Health Campus, all of which are designed to bring about changes that will pay dividends over the longer term by boosting our local jobs market.
I have also made it our priority to help bring new companies to Watford, and to talk to our business community about how we can help them. From smaller companies like Venus Property Solutions, the new carbon-free kitchen and bathroom store I recently visited on St Albans Rd to major players like Waitrose who are keen to have a full presence here.
With the UK’s economy still in decline, here in Watford we’ve got jobs figures to be really proud of. We know the new Morrisons will bring some 300 full and part time jobs to the town when it opens later this year and the Little Waitrose that’s opened in John Lewis has created an additional 46 jobs. As a council we’ve been directly involved in the creation or retention of a further 170 jobs – and we’re currently working closely with 19 companies, who have all made it very clear they want to be in Watford. We anticipate this will create some 2500 jobs for our town.
One success story I’m really pleased we were able to influence was that of Majestic Wines. The company had intended moving their HQ from Watford to open alongside a new distribution centre in another part of the country. They have now confirmed they will have their HQ in Watford, and their distribution centre in Hemel – so it’s a good win for South West Herts overall.
Watford has to be a town, where everybody that wants to work should be able to. That’s why my mantra at the moment is simply: jobs, jobs, jobs!