Latest Public Sector News

09.03.17

Midlands Engine strategy outlines £390m investment boost for region

The treasury has today unveiled its Midlands Engine strategy following the Spring Budget that outlines the government’s planned investment in the region building on work already being implemented from the modern Industrial Strategy.

The policy will inject £392m into the Midlands infrastructure from the Local Growth Fund to support projects including a global hub for space technology in Leicester and £25m in transport improvements designed to combat growing congestion.

Employment prospects are also being invested in with £20m into the Midlands Skills Challenge, an initiative that will provide additional work coaches, language training and testing innovating approaches to lifelong learning.

It is hoped the strategy will continue to grow the Midlands as one of the most profitable regions in the UK, generating 13% of the country’s annual input with its economy totalling £217.7bn.

West Midlands Combined Authority will welcome the new funds, especially in anticipation for the start of works on HS2 and the change to a mayoral system in the region.

Chancellor Phillip 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 chairman of the Midlands Engine Partnership, Sir John Peace added: “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.

Sir John added: “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.”

The chairman also announced plans to respond to the government’s strategy later this year when the Partnership publishes an “ambitious” vision and action that will set out how to unlock the Midlands’ full potential.

Communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid also put his support behind the strategy, saying: “Backed by millions in investment, this new strategy will help create more jobs and boost skills in the region. It will also showcase to investors here and abroad everything the Midlands Engine has to offer.”

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