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.
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.”
Trade and Investment: Transport: Research and Innovation: Business Support: Skills:
Specific ambitions for the Midlands Prospectus include:
Trade and Investment:
Research and Innovation: