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Midlands Engine Strategy Unveiled By The Government

Significant Investment Announced To Drive Growth Across The Region

09.03.2017

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

The government has today published its eagerly-awaited Midlands Engine Strategy in a move which is intended to drive significant investment in skills, connectivity and local economic growth.

The detailed plan, which also aims to promote the region to the world, includes an investment of almost £400m in the Midlands from the Local Growth Fund. This is in addition to the £1.5bn of Local Growth Fund investments in the Midlands that have already been announced.

The strategy also includes an investment of £20m in a Midlands Skills Challenge to improve employment prospects for people living and working in the region. 

An additional £4m has been committed to support the operation of the Midlands Engine Partnership over the next two years. This brings together Local Enterprise Partnerships, local authorities, businesses, academic institutions and others into a voluntary, regional partnership that will support growth across the Midlands.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “The Midlands has enormous economic potential and it is more important than ever that we now build on its existing strengths to make sure it fulfils it.

“The Midlands Engine Strategy is an important milestone, setting out the concrete actions we are taking, where we are not only investing in what it does well but also tackling some of the long standing productivity barriers in the region including skills and connectivity.

“The Midlands has enormous economic potential and as we lay the foundations of a stronger, fairer Britain outside the EU it is more important than ever that we now build on its existing strengths to make sure it fulfils it.

“The Midlands Engine Strategy is an important milestone, setting out the concrete actions we are taking, where we are not only investing in what it does well but also tackling some of the long standing productivity barriers in the region including skills and connectivity.

“It is a vital part of the government’s work to create an economy that works for everyone, and all parts of the country."

Midlands Engine Partnership chairman Sir John Peace said: “All parts of the Midlands already do a great job energising growth, creating jobs, investing in infrastructure, helping people to acquire valuable skills, and promoting their particular assets to attract investment and visitors.

“This strategy represents a clear footprint for the Midlands Engine empowering us to think bigger, and work even closer together, across local economies and on a scale that makes sense in global markets.”

From May this year, Birmingham and the wider West Midlands Combined Authority area will benefit from a directly elected Mayor able to use powers over skills, transport and planning to drive local growth.

Expert Opinion
“We welcome this report and are pleased with the on-going commitment that the government is making to the region in terms of developing skills and improving transportation links. Our own recent UK Powerhouse report highlighted the huge potential that the Midlands has to offer, but it also revealed the significant challenges that lie ahead.

“UK Powerhouse predicts that the Midlands region will grow rapidly over the next 10 years, but that it will continue to be outpaced by other regions in the South. It also found that by the end of this year, not one city in the region will be in the top 10 of the fastest growing places in the UK.

“We are strong supporters of devolution in the region and believe that if economic productivity is prioritised by the new mayor, a lot can be achieved in terms of unlocking regional growth.”
Chris Rawstron, Partner