Birmingham is ready to and able to host the Commonwealth Games

Last month the West Midlands Combined Authority and Mayor Andy Street endorsed Birmingham’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games confident - for two reasons - that Birmingham can deliver the best ever Games.

Firstly, the Midlands’ sporting credentials, experience hosting global events and strong community links with the Commonwealth, make it the very best place in the world for the 2022 Games to be held.

Secondly, the clock is ticking, Birmingham already has a plan in place, having prepared to bid for the 2026 Games, and 95% of the necessary infrastructure is in place.

Don’t just take my word for it. Usain Bolt paid tribute to Birmingham and its sporting facilities after
preparing for his extraordinary triple gold winning performance in the 2012 Olympics at a team training camp in the city.

The Midlands’ enviable road, rail and air links, including two of the UK’s best airports, mean we’re well placed to attract visitors and sports fans from every corner of the country and Commonwealth.

The Midlands is home to one of the most diverse populations in the UK. More people born in a Commonwealth country have moved to the Midlands than any region other than the South East.

More than 300,000 people, from India and Pakistan, the Caribbean, Australia and Canada, have chosen to make their home in the West Midlands.

Visitors to the 2022 Games will see the appeal of the Midlands
and the economic legacy of the Games will help cement the Midlands’ place as the strongest regional accelerator of UK growth.

I know that the region is ready. Hosting the Games not only makes sense for Birmingham and for the Midlands, but for the country and the Commonwealth.

Let’s get all 12 million Midlanders behind this bid and ensure its legacy will be felt in every corner of the region.

Birmingham is fired up and ready to go, ready to deliver the most exciting and successful Commonwealth Games ever seen.

We could do it today. Just imagine what we can do by 2022.

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Sir John Peace, Chairman of the Midlands Engine

University of Nottingham invests £200m in research to solve global challenges and drive UK Industrial Strategy

Securing sustainable food supplies, ending slavery and developing greener transport systems, are three of six most pressing global challenges the University of Nottingham has set out to help to solve with an investment of £200m that will support world-leading experts in finding solutions to global problems through ground-breaking research.   

The University is funding 6 Beacons of Excellence - multi-disciplinary research groups each focused on finding solutions to one of six challenges - that are all among the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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Derby Day!

Sometimes dubbed the Seattle of the Midlands (both have a special concentration of global brands), Derby had a big deal day on June 20th. 
First of all, came news that train maker Bombardier has landed an £895m contract to build 90 new Aventra trains for First Group and MTR, which runs the South Western rail franchise. Once running the fleet will be maintained at Wimbledon depot supported by Bombardier employees who will supply technical advice and spares.
Thirty minutes later, Rolls-Royce announced it has won a $1.5bn order from Ethiopian Airlines to provide Trent XWB engines for ten new Airbus A350-900 aircraft further increasing their order book for new engines. The order includes TotalCare for 14 other aircrafts already in service or on order.

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David Atkinson - Lloyds Bank, David Harewood - Actor, Professor Carl Chinn

Global manufacturer Guhring unveils new UK HQ in Birmingham following £12m investment

Guhring, a world-leading manufacturer of precision cutting tools, unveiled its new £12m UK headquarters in Birmingham’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub earlier this month.

Guhring will create 50 new jobs and safeguard another 75, expanding its offering to global clients including BMW, JLR, Ford, Nissan, Airbus & BAE Systems.

250 guests attended the opening that featured keynote speeches from Mayor Andy Street; Council Leader John Clancy; UK Head of Manufacturing at Lloyds Banking Group, David Atkinson and Professor Carl Chinn from the University of Birmingham.

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Automotive sector in the Midlands drives economic growth and thousands of jobs 

Figures released at Automechanika by automotive inward investment body Drive Midlands, show that the region’s automotive sector secured 58 new foreign direct investments during 2016/17, a 10% increase on the previous year. These new projects, which involved investors from the US, India and China, helped to generate almost 3,000 new jobs across the Midlands.

Automechanika is the world’s largetst automotive trade show and exhibited at the NEC in Birmingham this year. Drive Midlands joined forces with a range of leading organisations and partners to build relationships and promote the region’s offer to potential investors.

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MacLaren 2017: Our 'golden opportunity' for a better economy

Delivering this year's MacLaren Memorial Lecture - an annual event held jointly by Aston University and the Chartered Management Institute - Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of CBI, called for increased investment in management training and development in order to close the productivity gap between Britain and its G7 partners and between different UK regions.

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Maryland and Midlands Engine sign a Cyber Security MOU

Work by Worcestershire LEP has resulted in the Maryland (USA) Department of Commerce and the Midlands Engine signing a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen research and innovation collaboration on cybersecurity between Maryland and the Midlands. The agreement is designed to promote economic development and assist cybersecurity companies in Maryland and the Midlands to attract investments.

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North Worcestershire Engineering Centre of Excellence 

The new North Worcestershire Engineering Centre of Excellence, run by specialist training provider Midland Group Training Services, will provide a dedicated facility to ensure that young people can acquire the engineering skills that local companies need.

Lee Weatherly, CEO of Midland Group Training Services gave over 50 attendees at an open day a tour of the new £1.5m facility which includes new CNC machinery and manufacturing equipment.

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AppInstitute swoops for biggest rival

Going-places Nottingham-based software-as-a-service business AppInsitute has expanded via the purchase Appsme in a deal that will almost double its global customer base and increase its overseas business.
Dubbed the ‘WordPress for mobile apps’, AppInstitute’s cloud-based service provides a platform that allows SMEs and individuals with little to no prior technical knowledge to create their own app.

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Six Short Stories

Take off signals growth at aerospace business 
Icon Aerospace Technology, based at Retford in North Nottinghamshire is set to double in size after securing new and repeat business worth more than £53 million.
Icon supplies seals, ducting and in-flight refuelling hoses to leading aerospace manufacturers in the UK, Europe and the USA.
It was selected to join a Government-backed Regional Growth Fund sector support programme after being identified as a leading aerospace supply chain business. This helps aerospace businesses take advantage of the growth of the global market.

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Nottingham College Emerges

Nottingham College, one of the biggest Further Education colleges in the country has been created through the merger of New College Nottingham and Central College Nottingham.
The new college will cater for around 40,000 students and have an annual turnover of more than £80 million.

Its aim is to become a national pioneer in technical skills delivery through apprenticeships and post-16 and adult education by providing courses relevant to local employers and helping to get students into employment, plugging local skills gaps.
The flagship building of the Nottingham College will be the new £60m City Hub to be built on a brownfield site in the city centre and forming part of a wider transformation of the Broadmarsh area. The Hub will open in 2020.

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PwC launches tech degree apprenticeship with University of Birmingham

PwC, one of the UK’s largest graduate employers, is partnering with the University of Birmingham to create a new fully-funded technology degree apprenticeship to help grow the next generation of UK technology talent.
Starting in September 2018, the innovative programme will see 80 students a year combining university life with practical work-based technology projects at PwC.

For more information on the programme, how to apply and the other programmes in PwC’s Flying Start degree series please visit

Black Country Growth Hub helps SIMCO EFS face a bright future
The Black Country Growth Hub recently helped SIMCO External Framing Solutions. The company specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of rain screen and façade cladding solutions.
The company has been listed on the London Stock Exchange Group's 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain.

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Local Growth Fund investment for Melton Livestock Market
A £5.5 million redevelopment of a key asset to the Melton economy managed by Melton Borough Council, has been completed.

The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership allocated £3.5m of its Local Growth Fund to the redevelopment of Melton Livestock Market to futureproof its operation for the next 20 years.

Nick Pulley, Chair of the LLEP said, “This unique project supports the objectives of the LLEP in relation to growing the rural economy and investing in market towns. The new-look market is now state-of-the-art.” 

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The opening of the National Transport Design Centre at Coventry Univeristy 
Coventry University’s National Transport Design Centre has officially opened, with over two hundred leading automotive, rail, marine and aerospace designers in attendance.
Covering all aspects of transport design, the NTDC brings together students, designers and manufacturers to advance class-leading concept-to-production design processes.

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In other news...

Which MBA ranked Aston University as one of the best places in the world to study for a Masters degree in management, according to The Economist? Find out

The Midlands Innovation group of universities hosted the second Higher Education Technicians Summit (HETS 2017), the largest event held specifically for UK and Ireland higher education technical staff. Read More

A £3.7m WMCA Collective Investment Fund loan to developers Complex Development Projects Ltd to secure acquisition of two key sites, totalling 8.2 acres, in Coventry city centre for major redevelopment. Read More

Hundreds of jobs could be on the way after Henry Boot Developments announced plans to redevelop Nottingham's landmark former Imperial Tobacco factory site close to one of the city’s main links to the M1. Read More 

A 20% rise in annual sales at Leicestershire-based fashion business Joules Clothing is a testament to continuing demand for authentic British fashion brands. Read more

Deborah Cadman, currently chief executive at Suffolk County Council, has been appointed as the first permanent chief executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). Read More

This month our header picture marks the start of work, supported by Midlands Engine Strategy money, to demolish and replace a not-much-loved multi-storey car park as part of the £250m transformation of Nottingham’s Broadmarsh area. Read More

Upcoming Events

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26 - 29 Sept          TRAKO International Railway Fair, Gdansk, Poland       

7 - 11 Oct              Anuga Food Fair, Cologne

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29 Jan - 1 Feb     Arab Health 2018, Dubai 

8 - 11 Feb            Auto Expo Components 2018, New Delhi