Midlands Engine has received a further vote of confidence as a region that is essential to the UK’s post-Brexit economic success and improving quality of life.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, backed Midlands Engine in his Budget Statement, with the region set to benefit from a number of initiatives announced on Wednesday 22 November 2017:
- supporting the delivery of the Midlands Connect strategy, through providing £2 million to develop options to address key constraints on the Coventry – Leamington Rail Corridor, and £4 million for road congestion measures
- Increasing the size of the National Productivity Investment Fund, launched last year to provide additionalinvestment in housing, infrastructure, digital communications, and research and development (R&D)
- a new £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund
- £300 million towards ensuring High Speed 2 (HS2) infrastructure can accommodate future Midlands and Northern Powerhouse rail services
- the government to pilot a manufacturing zone in the East Midlands. This will reduce planning restrictions to allow land to be used more productively, providing certainty for business investment, and boosting local productivity and growth
- establishing a new £2.5 billion Investment Fund incubated in the British Business Bank
Sir John Peace, Chairman of Midlands Engine said
The Chancellor Budget statement underlines the existing endorsement of the Midlands Engine by Government and the Prime Minister. Our core purpose is to create a Midlands Engine that powers the UK economy and competes on the world stage. By improving our productivity and driving economic growth we can power the country’s post-Brexit economy, not just for the benefit of the Midlands but for the whole UK.
The Midlands is already the largest economic area outside London and the Midlands Engine Partnership’s ambition is to add at least £54 billion to the Midlands and UK economies by 2030.
The Midlands Engine Vision for Growth sets out five investment priorities which will accelerate productivity across the region.
Sir John said:
I particularly welcome the Chancellor focus on many of those areas that we have identified as priorities, including research and development investment, digital technology, innovation, infrastructure, skills and housing, The Midlands strategic location, strong sense of identify and reputation as the beating heart of the national economy will ensure the UK’s future as a global economic power.
>Notes for editors:
The Midlands Engine is about additionality, complementing the work of local and combined authorities, local enterprise partnerships, universities, businesses and others to generate added-value at scale across the Midlands.
We have five priorities:
- Connect the Midlands
- Invest in strategic infrastructure
- Grow International trade and investment
- Increase innovation and enterprise
- Shape great places