The Midlander 20 - February 2019

Be a part of it! Get on board with Team Midlands

Businesses and organisations throughout the Midlands are being invited to join a powerful new group, Team Midlands.

The Midlands Engine has launched the initiative to help build momentum and unity behind the region’s growth ambitions and to help drive inward investment.

At this stage, the partnership is seeking expressions of interest from companies and organisations who all share a passion for making the Midlands a thriving and vibrant economy. The simple online form provides interested parties the opportunity to shape the “deal”.

Once the “ask” and the “offer” have been defined, the Midlands Engine Partnership will launch the full Team Midlands programme.

This will allow organisations to join forces to bang the drum loudly to jointly promote projects and initiatives in the Midlands that showcase growth.
Find out more

Mental Health and Productivity - tender now open

The government has made £7 million of funding available through the Midlands Skills Challenge to pilot innovative approaches to supporting the mental health of employees in the region.

Fiona Piercy, Programme Director for the Midlands Engine, said: "This is a unique opportunity for Midlands employers to benefit from innovative approaches in tackling mental health in the workplace." 

This tender opportunity is now live on the East Midlands e-tendering portal here, where you will be able to view and download all of the tender documentation. Find out more

Delegates inside the Midlands UK Pavillion at MIPIM 2018

Midlands UK brings its largest ever delegation to MIPIM

Some 100 partners across the Midlands region – comprising senior leaders from business, the public sector and academia – have joined the Midlands UK delegation attending MIPIM 2019 (Cannes, 12-15 March).

The Midlands will be showcased as a globally competitive investment destination at MIPIM, which attracts more than 26,000 delegates from 100 different countries. Attendees represent major investors, financial institutions, developers, the property industry and the media.

A new film about the Midlands as part of ‘The Midlands Engine is here’ initiative (mentioned above) will be launched, along with the latest Midlands Engine Investment ProspectusFind out more

Image courtesy of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership 

Worcestershire switches on Britain’s first 5G factory trial

The UK’s first live 5G factory trials are now underway at the Worcestershire 5G Testbed, in a landmark step towards the creation of smart factories in Britain.

The trials, led by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and Worcestershire County Council, mark the first time that British industry has deployed this next generation technology which is set to completely transform the way the sector operates.

In a huge step on the UK’s journey towards Industry 4.0, the process allows manufacturers to test the potential of 5G investments – from factory floor production, reconfiguration and real-time analysis, to steering a machine’s movements from a remote location. Find out more

The 5G factory trial opening coincides with the Worcestershire 5G project set to feature at the world's biggest mobile event - Mobile World Congress - at the end of this month. Find out more

Allan Cook, Chair of HS2 Ltd (second left) and HS2 Minister, Nusrat Ghani, (third left) with staff from Bridgeway Consulting Limited
Image courtesy of HS2 Ltd

Transport Minister visits East Midlands to learn how HS2 phase two will benefit region

Transport Minister, Nusrat Ghani, and HS2 Ltd Chair, Allan Cook, this month met with leaders from across the East Midlands to learn how the region will reap the benefits of HS2.

The visit was hosted by Bridgeway Consulting Limited in Nottingham who are providing ground investigations and engineering surveys to prepare for HS2.

Regional leaders from all the East Midlands councils were present at the event, along with representatives from the Department of Transport, the Railway Industry Association, Midlands Connect, East Midlands Chamber and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

HS2 Minister, Nusrat Ghani, said: “We will continue to work closely with local authorities and businesses as we drive this ambitious project forward, to ensure that the East Midlands benefits from the full potential of HS2.” Find out more

Birmingham revealed as the best city outside of London to develop a digital career

Jobs website, Monster, releases its Digital Cities Ranking highlighting the top 10 cities in the UK for developing digital careers outside of London.

To create the ranking, Monster analysed a variety of factors , including; digital economy growth, availability of digital jobs and quality of life, to create an overall score. The results shows that Birmingham is the best city to develop a career within the digital industry.

Birmingham topped the ranking due to the availability of over 437 digital jobs, combined with 33% industry growth year-on-year and average salaries of over £43,000, alongside average rent costs of £638 for a one bed home. Find out more

Image courtesy of East Midlands Airport

East Midlands Airport is only UK airport to make international cargo award shortlisting

East Midlands Airport’s importance as a global cargo hub has had industry recognition thanks to its shortlisting alongside some of the largest cargo airports in the world.

Changi Airport Group, Dubai World Central, Hong Kong International Airport, Liege Airport (Belgium) and East Midlands have all been shortlisted for Air Cargo News’ annual awards in the Freighter Hub of the Year category.

East Midlands Airport (EMA) has the UK’s largest dedicated cargo aircraft operation handling 365,000 tonnes of goods a year. £10 billion worth of goods are imported and exported to and from non-EU countries through EMA each year. Find out more

The news of its award shortlisting comes as the airport submitted a planning application to extend its passenger facilities which cater for almost 5 million passengers a year. Find out more

Image courtesy of Marketing Derby

Advanced nuclear research and innovation centre opens to support Midlands' manufacturers

Nuclear AMRC Midlands, a new research and innovation centre, has opened for business in the iHub at Infinity Park, Derby.

The new centre is a major expansion of the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, part of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Business and Industry, Richard Harrington MP, said: “This new centre of cutting-edge nuclear technology will help to boost local jobs, growth and expertise. The centre could bring millions of pounds into the region through a thriving supply chain, to ultimately provide low-carbon nuclear electricity to millions of UK homes.”

The new facility is a collaboration between the Nuclear AMRC, Derby City Council and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. Find out more
Image of Keele University Campus, courtesy of Staffordshire County Council

Staffordshire wins £1.9m bid to create 'smart' highway network test-bed

A ‘live lab’ project at Keele University will develop, test and demonstrate how a smart highways network can be designed, maintained and extended to local roads.

The project, which includes Staffordshire County Council, was one of only seven successful bids to receive government funding.

The project will see a smart infrastructure network developed on the campus roads with a control centre set up to create the 'live lab'. It will develop and test new technology to reduce congestion and road incidents, improve road user experience, sustainable transport and air quality.

As well as students supporting the scheme as part of their studies, the project will also involve small businesses. Its hoped that successful new developments could then be rolled out to communities across Staffordshire and the rest of the country. Find out more

Image courtesy of East Midlands Councils’ HS2 Growth Strategy

Plans for East Midlands Development Corporation unveiled

Ambitious plans to realise the future potential of the East Midlands economy was the focus of an investment summit in Leicester this month.

Plans to launch an East Midlands Development Corporation (dev-corp) were unveiled at The East Midlands Infrastructure Summit. The Corporation’s goal is to maximise the potential of the land around the site of the proposed HS2 station at Toton and East Midlands Airport. Its focus also includes the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station site, which is expected to close by October 2025.

The ‘dev-corp’ model was instrumental in transforming the London docklands area into the global financial hub that is now Canary Wharf. Led by Midlands Engine Chair, Sir John Peace, it is hoped that the East Midlands ‘dev-corp’ will deliver on an equally ambitious scale.

Sir John said: “The opportunity that the development of land around Toton and the power station cannot be overstated. The Development Corporation will help ensure that this potential becomes a reality and helps power the whole of the Midlands economy." Find out more

Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Derby's Rolls-Royce secures major aero engine order and submarine propulsion contract

Rolls-Royce has secured an order for its Trent 7000 engines to power 40 Airbus A330neo aircraft from Emirates.

The airline has also ordered 30 Airbus A350 aircraft, powered by the Trent XWB. Under the agreement, Rolls-Royce will also provide Trent 900 engines for a further 14 Airbus A380s, taking the total Emirates A380 fleet powered by Trent 900 engines to 33 aircraft. The deal will make the airline one of the largest users of Trent engines in the world. Find out more

The news comes as Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson MP, visited Roll-Royce  this week to announce that the government has awarded a £235 million contract to the company to support the propulsion systems of the country's nuclear submarines. Find out more

Image courtesy of Innes England

East Midlands commercial property report reveals strong office sector growth

A report into the commercial property sector in the East Midlands has revealed strong office sector growth in all three East Midlands' cities in 2018.

The 2019 Market Insite report, by Innes England, also showed that investment values remained strong in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham. Other highlights from the report include:

In Derby

  • The take-up of industrial units below 20,000 sq ft increased by almost 60%
  • Office take-up improved by 19% on the previous year
  • Prime rents of industrial units rose to a new record of £6.50 per sq ft

In Leicester

  • The total investment transactions in Leicestershire were up 61% on the previous year
  • Activity in the office sector increased by 42% from the previous year
  • Prime office rents rose to a new high of £18 per sq ft

In Nottingham

  • Investment in the office sector increased by 170% in the county
  • Take-up of office space reached a record level of nearly 740,00 sq ft
  • City centre office levels remain in line with previous years.

The full report can be downloaded here.

More regional highlights

  • Work underway on new building at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park. Read more 
  • Nottingham to put culture at the heart of a successful local economy. Read more 
  • University of Birmingham and Trinity College Dublin create research and education partnership. Read more 
  • Worcestershire Parkway Railway Station on track to open by the end of the year. Read more 
  • Lincolnshire food harvesting manufacturer receives expansion funding to increase US sales. Read more 
  • Warwickshire Manufacturing Group Degree Apprenticeship Centre gearing up for September opening. Read more 
  • Nottingham packaging and print company makes £1m investment to expand capacity. Read more 
  • New angel investor network for Birmingham. Read more
Upcoming events
Visit the Midland Engine website for a full event listing HERE.
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