VISITORS from across the Channel arrived to discuss future links with businesses in the Wychavon district this month.

A delegation from the Chamber of Agriculture Lot et Garonne department in the south-west of France were welcomed by councillor Gerry O’Donnell, chairman of Wychavon District Council on Wednesday, February 5, to talk about the possibility of establishing links with the Lot et Garonne.

By developing a relationship, the council hopes to benefit the agriculture, food production and horticulture economies of the district.

The meeting supports AMDS Support Services Ltd and the French Chamber of Agriculture as they discuss establishing economic links between the Lot et Garonne and Worcestershire.

The programme, which has been submitted to the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, is about driving growth in agriculture, food production and horticulture through a range of activities in education, production, marketing, water management and tourism.

The aim is to use the programme of partnerships as a basis for a submission for European investment funds in the two regions.

Councillor O’Donnell said: "I was pleased with how well the French visit went, and how interested our guests were in forging trade relationships. They appeared to be impressed by our 'Grow in Wychavon' book, particularly when they discovered that we were the first council to undertake such a project.

"What impressed them most, however, was Wychavon's approach to helping small businesses, and attracting investment. Wychavon's proactive and entrepreneurial strategy for growth was seen as innovative and productive. I believe that there is a lot of potential to be explored for closer business ties with the Lot et Garonne region."