Midlands Engine partners welcome Government's ambitious new strategy 

The publication of the Midlands Engine Strategy earlier this month marks an important moment for the region. 

The Strategy aims to help the Midlands reach its full economic potential by outlining significant investment in skills, connectivity and local growth and sets out how the Government plans to drive the region’s huge potential and promote it to the world.

Alongside the Midlands Engine Strategy, the Government also published the Midlands Connect Transport Strategy that identifies the key infrastructure investments that will better connect Midlands towns and cities and deliver the extra road and rail capacity that the whole the country needs. 

Since the Midlands Engine formed over a year ago, it has been engaging with stakeholders across the region to identify the best opportunities to boost economic growth in the region.

Philip Hammond,
Chancellor of the Exchequer

The Engine will now respond to the Strategy with an ambitious vision of the Midlands of the future.

Midlands Engine Strategy

Midlands Connect Strategy: Powering the Midlands Engine


UK Central Hub sets out 20 year growth plan

A landmark 20-year growth plan has been revealed for the ‘Hub’ at UK Central Solihull. The Growth & Infrastructure Plan, developed by UK Central’s Urban Growth Company (UGC), sets out the growth ambitions to maximise the full potential of this “once-in-a-generation” opportunity. 

The scale of the plan is unprecedented, with highlights including the potential for 775,000 sq m of new commercial and mixed-use floor space, up to 4,000 new homes and the delivery of a major economic boost worth up to £4.1bn in GVA each year. Through this vision, the UGC expects the creation of up to 77,500 new jobs.

The Hub has already secured investment from UK Government, the West Midlands Combined Authority, HS2 Ltd and Highways England, with an expected £1.5bn of infrastructure investment over the next 10 years.

Connecting to the wider region and national transport network, plans include the development of a multi-modal transport interchange at Birmingham International Station, connecting the HS2 Interchange with the NEC and Birmingham Airport via an automated people mover and linking to mainline rail, Metro and Bus Rapid Transit. This will also generate new development opportunities, with potential for over 315,000 sq m of commercial space.

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Midlands UK aims to be the best in show at MIPIM

The Midlands-wide delegation attending MIPIM 2017 this week, hosted a comprehensive events programme at the global real estate show in Cannes, France. Major investment projects worth £14 billion were unveiled to an international audience, while discussion panels and presentations covered topics including connectivity, housing and regeneration.
The event also saw the launch of the Midlands Engine Investment Portfolio showcasing some of the most exciting investment opportunities across the Midlands region to international investors.

Sir John Peace, Chairman of the Midlands Engine, said: “The Midlands Engine Investment Portfolio demonstrates our ambition. We have some truly incredible projects available, whether it is investments that have been created as a result of HS2 or smaller projects that will deliver real change, economic growth and jobs for of our cities."

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First Midlands Engine trade summit a great success

Over 400 Midlands businesses looking to export to countries across the globe gathered at the Vox in Solihull last week, where they heard Mark Garnier MP announce the launch of an Export Champions programme and Investment Hub to encourage and inspire businesses to spread their wings.

Twenty-eight successful business leaders from across the MIdlands will offer their expertise and advice to other companies looking to grow by trading overseas.

Deborah Leary of Forensic Pathways joined the Minister on the platform recalling her very first overseas mission which was to Turkey. She made no sales but she learnt an enormous amount and now trades in many countries. One of her tips was to consider Commonwealth countries first as many have very similar legal systems to the UK and English is very likely to be commonly spoken in the host business community.

In other sessions delegates heard from speakers including Elizabeth Fagan the MD of Boots UK who used to run Boots’ overseas retail operations. Her primary piece of advice, learnt the hard way in Japan, was to be sure to choose the right local partner so as to ensure your business model is a good cultural fit.

For more on the Export Champions click here

For information on exporting please contact DIT  www.great.gov.uk


Second Enterprise Zone for Leicestershire

A new Enterprise Zone that could bring over 21,000 new jobs and £123m into Leicestershire over the next twenty-five years has been announced by the Government.

The new EZ comprises two science and hi-tech manufacturing sites in Loughborough and one in Leicester, offering specialist research and development facilities for businesses to bring their innovative ideas and products to market.

In the first five years, it is expected to generate over £3.5 million in business rates which will be re-invested by the LLEP partnership into projects across the City and County.

The new site will replicate the successful model already operating at the MIRA Technology Park.

Click here for more info

Panasonic joins Coventry's manufacturing Technology Centre

Tony O’Brien (left) of Panasonic and Clive Hickman – MTC chief exec (right)

Panasonic Business has joined the Manufacturing Technology Centre to drive forward innovation in the rail and utilities sector.

MTC was formed to provide a competitive environment in which to bridge the gap between university-based research and pioneering manufacturing solutions development. It has some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world enabling it to provide a specialised focus on the development and demonstration of innovation to be used on an industrial scale.

Panasonic is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers, developing semi-conductors, intelligent software systems and bespoke intelligent technology solutions that drive innovation within business.


Six Short Stories

Plans unveiled for £350m business development in Birmingham
Plans have been unveiled for one of the country’s biggest industrial developments, which could create 10,000 jobs in Birmingham. The Peddimore scheme forms one of the highlights of Birmingham’s presentation to this year’s MIPIM property exhibition, in Cannes this week.

Peddimore, in the north east of Birmingham, could make a £350m contribution to the local economy. The site is one of the most significant industrial opportunities in the UK.

Find our more here

HS2 Royal Assent Granted

HS2 Royal Assent marked a momentous day, proof that Government is serious about rebalancing the country's economy. The Midlands is now at the heart of the UK's most ambitious infrastructure project, providing us with the opportunity to accelerate our plans for growth and providing investors with the certainty they need.

Find out more here

University showcases £430m investment plans to maintain cutting edge development

Coventry University will commit more investment to the development of its campus over the next five years than at any similar period in its history. The university has spent around £150m over the last five years on a range of new buildings, improvements and other property initiatives, but the next five years will see up to £430m committed.

The unprecedented investment will include the development of the current Coventry City Council Civic Centre site, a second Engineering and Computing building, remodelling of the Arts & Humanities and Business & Law faculties, the completion of the new Science and Health Building for the Faculty of Heath & Life Sciences as well as student accommodation at Bishop Gate.

JCB in the fastest lane
JCB is getting into Formula 1, entering into a partnership with Williams Martini Racing for the 2017 season. JCB branding will appear on the chassis and rear wing of this year’s FW40 race car and on drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll's race suits and helmets.

US expansion for Purplebricks
On the back of success in the UK and Australia, Solihull based, technology-driven but people-focused estate agent Purplebricks is set to go increasingly global. It will launch its high quality service proposition in the US real estate market - worth £55bn a year in commissions - having raised £50m via an AIM share placing.


Are you looking good?
We're on the look-out for the Midlands most photogenic locations that help us to tell the story of the region's potential to contribute to the government's new Industrial Strategy and our vision for the Midlands' Engine. If you've a location that deserves to be better known, tweet a picture and a few words to @midsengine.

Upcoming Events

21-24 March    India Trade Mission - Automechanika, New Delhi

28 March         Qatar-UK Trade & Investment Conference, Birmingham

17 April            Modern Industrial Strategy consultation closes

25-27 April       Ceramics Expo, Cleveland, Ohio

4 May               West Midlands Mayor election
9-11 May          Railtex Rail Midlands Challenge Fund activity, NEC

16 May             Providing a steer in a driverless world, Nuneaton

6-8 June          Automechanika, Birmingham