Midlands to drive £34bn worth of productivity and growth

Posted on 4 Dec 2015 by Jonny Williamson

An ambitious plan to make the Midlands an "engine of growth" will be unveiled today at a special event at Birmingham University.

The Midlands Engine prospectus – the first of its kind in the country – is the result of 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) coming together with a plan to boost productivity, attract inward investment, increase connectivity, and build a regional tourism offer.

Supported by Business Secretary Sajid Javid, the new prospectus is focused on five key themes – skills, innovation, transport, promoting the ‘Engine’, and finance for business, and is part of the Government’s wider plans to support jobs and growth.

If the Midlands region matches the predicted growth rate for the UK over the next 15 years, it could create 300,000 jobs and boost the national economy by an estimated £34bn.

Javid also confirmed that the region will receive £5m of support for a new trade and investment package to reach new markets and boost exports, with the Secretary expected to lead the first Midlands Engine trade mission sometime next year.

Sajid Javid, Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Sajid Javid, Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills.

He commented: “The Midlands is the heartland of our thriving manufacturing sector and home to 25 universities, playing a strong role in the recovery of the UK economy.

“Over the last year, private sector employment in the Midlands grew more than three times faster than London and the South East. But there are more opportunities to capitalise on the Midlands’ natural strengths and assets, and make it an engine for growth.

“Through this prospectus, which sets out the region’s own vision to unlock greater economic growth, it’s time to fire up the Midlands Engine. I commend the leadership shown by the Midlands Local Enterprise Partnerships to come together and pool resources to work towards the shared goal of greater growth for the whole region.”

Specific ambitions for the Midlands Prospectus include:

Trade and Investment:

  • Undertaking the first Midlands Engine trade mission and hosting the first senior Midlands Engine inward investment visit
  • Presenting a selection of Midlands Engine regeneration projects seeking investment, at the MIPIM 2016 property convention
  • Building a regional business visitor and tourism offer


  • Developing the vision and strategy for transforming transport connectivity across the Midlands Engine region through Midlands Connect

Research and Innovation:

  • Evolving phase two of the Midlands Innovation led Energy Research Accelerator and a pipeline of further similar propositions, including a likely Agri-food sector proposition
  • Building a stronger network of regional science parks as well as a higher education forum

Business Support:

  • Developing a region-wide fund of funds utilising the EU Joint European Resource for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) programme, supporting SME growth ambitions of the region. The fund will deliver access to finance solutions on a bigger scale and ambition than before.


  • Developing a more comprehensive demand led approach for skills development in the manufacturing and engineering sectors, based on increased provider collaboration and alignment
  • Undertaking a review of best practice relating to employment and skills. This will be used to accelerate the take up of new and innovative ideas.