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Birmingham to host 2022 Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games Federation has confirmed that Birmingham is to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Responding to the announcement, Sir John Peace, Chairman of Midlands Engine said: “Today’s announcement that Birmingham will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games is fantastic news to cap off what has been an excellent year for the region. Not only will it benefit Birmingham but the rest of the Midlands too, with the games putting the region firmly on the map as billions of people from around the world tune in to cheer on the best that their nation has to offer.

Birmingham and the Midlands will be ready to host in 2022, making it the most exciting games in recent memory. By then the UK will be at the beginning of a new era, and hosting the Commonwealth Games is the perfect opportunity to show our global trading partners exactly what our great regions have to offer.

The Midlands has one of the most diverse populations in the UK, with hundreds of thousands of people from throughout the Commonwealth choosing to make our region their home. The whole of the Midlands, a population of 12 million, have been behind this bid and we are ready to help deliver the games so that its legacy will be felt in all corners of the region”.

Visit the Birmingham 2022 website

The Midlands poised to get the best out of HS2

A new report is setting out how HS2 can help the Midlands and the rest of Britain to achieve a more balanced, more productive economy.

The report, which contains evidence gathered from HS2's discussions with businesses, trade and sector bodies, universities, local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships, sets out the role that improved transport connectivity can play in helping to raise levels of productivity and growth in sectors and places across Britain. Read the report here

Speaking at the launch, Sir John Peace, Chairman of Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect, said: "Midlands Connect and Midlands Engine are seizing on the once in a generation opportunity HS2 brings to drive growth for the region. Read more here

On a visit to the Midlands, Sir David Higgins, Chairman of HS2, said the wider region will benefit from a hub station at Crewe. Read more about the visit here

Midlands Engine businesses are encouraged to review monthly HS2 contract opportunities. Read more here

New national rail strategy aimed at boosting economy, unlocking jobs and building more homes

The Government has set out a new vision for our railways, including plans to end the operational divide between track and train and an evolution of the franchising system.

The proposals also include commitments to expand the railway network to boost housing and economic growth, and deliver major passenger benefits – including rolling out improved compensation schemes for passengers. Click here for more information

Also read a comment from Midlands Connect Director, Maria Machancoses here.

Government announces plans to improve infrastructure and boost the construction sector’s productivity

The new plans could generate savings of £15 billion a year and have been revealed alongside the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, which sets out projects for the next 10 years.

This £600 billion pipeline includes both public and private investment. The Government says it will give certainty to industry that there is great appetite to develop infrastructure and will encourage the sector to invest in the right technology and skills to meet this demand. Click here for more information

Midlands wins £80m race for national battery centre

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, made the announcement that the Coventry and Warwickshire area had won the competition for the location of a new The National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility, while attending an energy conference at the University of Warwick. He said the new facility will “only enhance the reputation” of the region.

Click here for more information

Leicestershire China Forum launches as part of Midlands Engine China trade agenda

The inaugural meeting of the Leicestershire China Forum has taken place.

The initiative will support local trade and investment connections with China. The forum brings together Leicester City and Leicestershire County Councils, the local enterprise partnership, local universities, sports clubs and SMEs under a 'Team Leicestershire banner'. Together the new forum will deliver a singular business message in China to deliver a bigger impact for the area.

For more information or to get involved contact rob.avery-phipps@cbri.co.uk at the China Britain Regional Initiative

Government announces new strategy to improve transport infrastructure efficiency

The strategy sets out seven challenges that the Department for Transport and its delivery bodies will address to improve transport infrastructure efficiency. 

The policy paper has been produced with Highways England, Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and other bodies. Click here for more information

First report to highlight economic contribution of energy industry in the Midlands

The report 'Energy in the Midlands Engine: Powering a New Energy Future' maps out for the first time the economic contribution of the energy industry in the Midlands, and sets out its potential role in a low carbon, flexible energy future.

With 1 in 3 energy jobs located in the region, the industry contributes £5 billion a year to the national economy, demonstrating its central role in the success of UK plc.

Click here for more

Regional Highlights 

Coventry named UK City of Culture 2021

The title will give the city a great opportunity to boost the local economy, tourism, civic pride and access to the arts.

Coventry pipped fellow Midlands Engine city - Stoke-on-Trent, as well as Paisley, Sunderland and Swansea to take title. Read more
Multi-million pound business investment creates thousands of Staffordshire jobs

A new report highlights that investment totalling nearly £400million in Staffordshire business developments since 2014 will lead to the creation of over 13,000 jobs on schemes completed as part of the county council’s growth programme.  Read more

West Midlands eight year rail franchise worth £1bn

A new era of rail travel has been unveiled as the management of the West Midlands rail network was put into local hands.  

A new franchise, managed jointly by a consortium of local councils and the Government, got underway bringing a near £1bn investment into the local network over the next eight years.  As well as offering more services and more spaces for passengers the move is expected to stimulate and support further economic growth and jobs across the region. Read more

Commenting on the franchise Midlands Connect Director, Maria Machancoses said: "Passengers across the region will see massive benefits from using West Midlands Trains, and this new franchise fits in with the core aims of Midlands Connect’s strategy; to put more seats on to the rail network, make journeys more frequent and comfortable and make our towns and cities better connected." Read more here
Nottingham is England's top city for small business growth, report says

The report's authors surveyed 1,200 small business owners nationwide and ranked cities based on their growth potential for small businesses.

It looked at regional differences including business confidence levels, growth expectations, technology adoption and infrastructure.

Nottingham was named the top English city and came second only to Belfast out of 15 UK cities, while London was 10th. Read more
Plans to bring about the Coventry City Centre South scheme will transform the heart of the city

The multi-million pound development plan will bring in major retailers, new leisure opportunities and city centre housing, and transform some of the most out-dated areas of the city centre. The completed scheme will make the city the second biggest shopping destination in the West Midlands. Read more

Nottingham Trent University named University of Year

The university scooped the prestigious Times Higher Education award which is seen as the Oscars of the higher education sector

Judges praised the university for "combining bold ambition with the hard work required to turn vision into reality" and highlighted Nottingham Trent's impressive record on outreach and its use of learning analytics to improve retention.

The award comes just two months after Nottingham Trent celebrated being named the Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year. Read more

In other news...

  • Derby train-maker Bombardier lands contract worth hundreds of millions. Read more
  • Black country businesses generate more than £2bn according to new report. Read more
  • Rolls-Royce collaboration to lead to significant step in hybrid-electric propulsion in commercial planes. Read more
  • Worcestershire LEP Conference highlights success and outlines new projects. Read more
  • Lincolnshire businesses encouraged to join ambassador programme. Read more

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