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The Midlander 23 - May 2019

(l-r) Paul Smith Director for the Cricket World Cup, Graeme Swann former England spinner, and Cllr Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council

Cricket World Cup set to boost Midlands economy

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is estimated to be worth more than £50 million to the Midlands economy according to a report by international accountancy firm EY.

The tournament, which starts at the end of this month and will involve ten nations, will see key matches played at both Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.

The report – conducted on behalf of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) – considered factors including ticket sales; match day spending on food, drink and merchandise; wider spending from international visitors in the hospitality, retail and transport sectors; and the tourism and business legacy from the tournament’s global exposure.

EY estimates the Cricket World Cup will be worth over £32.1m to the West Midlands economy and £18.7million to the East Midlands economy. Read more about estimated benefit to the West Midlands here and East Midlands here.

(l - r) Andy Street, George Hull (UK Battery Industrialisation Centre), Eve Wheeler-Jones (PhD student) and Andrew Stephenson MP. Image Courtesy of the West Midlands Combined Authority

First local Industrial Strategy launches in West Midlands

This month has seen the West Midlands become the first area of the UK to launch its own industrial Strategy.

Business and Industry Minister, Andrew Stephenson, joined Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, to launch the strategy and announce that the area would receive an additional £28 million investment to develop the next generation of battery technology for electric vehicles.

The battery technology will be developed at the UK’s Battery Industrialisation Centre, which is currently being built in Coventry. Find out more

To read the Minister's speech from his visit to the region, click here.

£6.8 million to support employee mental health and increased productivity

The Midlands Engine has awarded a partnership of organisations from across the region £6.8 million of funding for a three-year programme of work to address the impact mental health in the workplace has on productivity.

As part of the Midlands Engine strategy, a Midlands Skills Challenge was set up to discover ways to close the skills gap between the Midlands and the rest of the country.

As part of the Skills Challenge, the new Mental Health and Productivity pilot will find innovative ways to reduce levels of sickness absence, and the number of people falling out of work due to mental health conditions.

The funding, which has come via central government, was awarded to a partnership of 20 organisations which will be led by Coventry University and be supported by the University of Warwick and the West Midlands Combined AuthorityFind out more

Image Courtesy of the West Midlands Growth Company

Manufacturing Technology Centre leading aerospace world-first 

Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre is playing a major role in a ground-breaking project to develop the world's first unmanned ultra-long endurance aircraft.

The autonomously-controlled Phoenix aircraft has undergone successful test flights and has the potential to take the lead in the world development of 'pseudo-satellites'.

Pseudo-satellites are able to fly via remote-control or autonomously and at very high altitudes for long periods of time. They can fly above commercial aircraft and complement conventional satellites, and can be used for earth-mapping, scientific observation and intelligence gathering. Find out more

3,000 new homes and 100,000 sq metres of employment space in Nottinghamshire

A deal with a gross development value of £825 million to unlock space for housing and employment has been struck in Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire.

Homes England has acquired 250 acres of the 605 acre site, known as Fairham, and will work with other land owners, CWC and Rushcliffe Borough Council, on a project that will deliver 3,000 homes and 100,000 square metres of employment space – equivalent to more than a dozen football pitches – over the next ten years.

The site has been secured through the Government’s £1.3 billion Land Assembly Fund. Find out more

Revolutionary airport scanner receives US Homeland Security funding

Halo X-ray Technologies Ltd (HXT), a next-generation X-ray security scanner which was developed using technology produced at Cranfield and Nottingham Trent Universities, has been awarded $1.6 million.

The Department of Homeland Security in the US has awarded the funding to HXT to develop and implement an automatic threat resolution system for the X-ray imaging of carry-on and checked baggage at airports.

The two Midlands universities developed a scanner that in milliseconds can identify whether a substance is, for example, an explosive or an illegal drug. Find out more

Image Courtesy of East Midlands Airport

Cargo growth drives expansion at East Midlands Airport 

Work to build more aircraft parking space to accommodate the growth in cargo being handled at East Midlands Airport (EMA) is underway.
As the UK’s leading airport for dedicated cargo aircraft, EMA is improving its infrastructure so that aircraft can load and unload more efficiently at busy times.

The 10% year-on-year growth in cargo volume at EMA is being driven largely by people’s changing shopping habits. More

The aircraft parking space expansion coincides with EMA receiving planning permission to extend passenger facilities. More.

It has also announced that Loganair will be launching routes from airport. More

Midlands Connect responds to Rail Delivery Group’s proposals

Midlands Connect has published its response to the Rail Delivery Group's proposals to the Williams Review.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents the companies that run Britain’s railway, has submitted proposals to the government's review into the country's railway. It says the proposals would create a generational step-change in accountability and customer focus.

In the response to the proposals Midlands Connect stated: "We agree that the rail industry needs a long term strategy, with a vision for the future driven by greater local and regional influence. That includes an enhanced role for sub-national transport bodies like Midlands Connect, devolved authorities like Transport for West Midlands and other regional partnerships like West Midlands Rail Executive and Transport for the East Midlands." More

Also this month, Midlands Engine, supported by the Rail Alliance, hosted an event at Railtex 2019 to showcase the region’s growing rail cluster and why companies are choosing to base operating and manufacturing facilities in the region. And Abellio, the new operator of the East Midlands rail franchise, announced that it is to invest £600 million in improvements. More

HS2 strategic development site up for sale

A major mixed-use strategic land site anchored by the East Midlands’ Toton HS2 hub, is being marketed.

The site, situated within the Toton Strategic Location for Growth area is expected to attract both national and oversees investors, creating a prime inward investment opportunity for the region. 

Outline planning permission has been granted for a mixed-use scheme on part of the site, and an allocation for up to 800 homes across the strategic area alongside retail and office accommodation space. An application for infrastructure funding for the wider area has been submitted to Homes England. Find out more

The news comes as Derbyshire pupils have say on what HS2 could do for them. More

West Midlands firm to undertake world’s first Wi-Fi 6 industry trial

Worcester based Mettis Aerospace is working with the Wireless Broadband Alliance to conduct the world’s first Wi-Fi 6 Industrial Enterprise trial.

Wi-Fi 6 is the next generation of Wi-Fi. It will have increased capacity, higher data rates and will perform better in environments which have many connected devices.

The industrial trial, the first in a global programme, will enable the use of augmented reality, real-time monitoring of equipment and other applications in an enterprise network environment which will enable Mettis to further digitise their production line. More

This month, Vodafone has announced that Birmingham will be one of the first five cities to get 5G. More

More regional highlights

  • £60m innovation centre given green-light in Birmingham. Read more 
  • Chinese biotech firm opens ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Nottingham. Read more 
  • Britain's first 5G Factory trial taking shape in Worcester. Read more
  • New £11.8m fund available for Midlands' SMEs. Read more 
  • Korean manufacturer opens first European site in the Midlands. Read more 
  • Work begins on multi million pound Wolverhampton warehouse scheme. Read more 
  • Leicester-based finance and mortgage broker given £200,000 MEIF boost. Read more 
  • New Shropshire Aviation Academy set to take off. Read more 
Upcoming events
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