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Government unveils Industrial Strategy to boost productivity and earning power of people across the UK

The Business Secretary has launched Government’s Industrial Strategy with a plan to boost the economy, build on the country’s strengths and embrace the opportunities of technological change. Over the coming weeks Midlands Engine will be working to identify how our Vision for Growth and the Industrial Strategy align.

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Midlands Engine priorities feature strongly in Chancellor's budget  

The Midlands Engine and its priorities featured strongly in the Chancellor's first Autumn budget with Philip Hammond confirming that the Government backs the Midlands Engine.

The backing, which will see the Midlands Engine, the Northern Powerhouse and the six areas with elected metro mayors receive a share of a new £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund, with the remainder being open to competition by other cities in England.

The Chancellor also reaffirmed the Government's commitment to investing £300m to ensure HS2 infrastructure can accommodate future Midlands Engine rail improvements to enable faster services between Leicester and other places in the East Midlands and London.  

The other key announcements for the region see the Government committing to:

•  Creating a pilot manufacturing zone in the East Midlands to reduce planning restrictions, to provide certainty for business investment, and to boost local productivity and growth. Read more
Confirming plans for a second devolution deal for the West Midlands to support house building and construction training and a £250m allocation from the Transforming Cities fund for local intra-city transport priorities. Read more
•  Providing a further £6m to Midlands Connect to support congestion measures and to address options to address key constraints on the Coventry - Leamington Rail Corridor. Read more

The Government also announced that it was increasing the size of the National Productivity Investment Fund which was launched last year to provide additional investment in housing, infrastructure, digital communications, and research and development. This fund will support the newly announced £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund.

Sir John Peace, Chairman of Midlands Engine said, “The Chancellor’s Budget statement underlines the existing endorsement of the Midlands Engine by Government and the Prime Minister. Our core purpose is to create a Midlands Engine that powers the UK economy and competes on the world stage." Click here for the Midlands Engine report on the budget

Click here for full details of the Government's Autumn Budget announcements

Midlands Engine delegation driving closing links in China

Sir John Peace and Midlands Engine Ministerial Champion Sajid Javid this month launched a drive for closer working between the Midlands and China at the country's most influential international industry exhibition.

Mr Javid showcased the strengths of the Midlands which are aligned with China’s priority sectors and highlighted the many opportunities for Chinese businesses and investors in the region.

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PM & Chancellor visit Midlands to announce record boost to research and development and new transport connections fund

Prime Minister Theresa May chose a visit to the West Midlands in late November to make the national announcement which sees the UK receive its biggest ever increase in research and development investment and a new fund to transform transport connections within city regions across the country.

The announcement ties into the Government's Industrial Strategy which aims to improve productivity and create better and higher-paying jobs across the UK.

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Huge boost to Birmingham innovation and tech industries following Government R&D announcement

The announcement of a range of measures by the Prime Minister and Chancellor includes the creation of a new technology hub in Birmingham, increasing the number of tech visas available to West Midlands businesses and a £2m pilot scheme to provide high-speed broadband in Coventry and Warwickshire.

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DIT hosts successful 'Explore India' Meet-the-Buyer event for Midlands SME's

The event, which was held in Loughborough, provided opportunities for businesses to meet face-to-face with a range of leading buyers from India, which is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The event connected 75 Midlands suppliers with 22 buyers from across a variety of sectors, including life sciences, technology, smart cities and food and drink. Companies in attendance included Virtual Autopsy Solutions (UK), British Hypermarket and Blanson LTD from Leicestershire and Davis Worldwide from Louth.

For information on how DIT can help businesses, email:  info@tradeEM.co.uk, or call 0345 052 4001. 

Derby Nottingham Metro approach could give £11bn boost to local economy

A new report says there is a powerful case for formal collaboration between local authorities and businesses across an area greater than just the two cities in order to improve economic prosperity for the benefit of local people.

Closer joint working across the Derby and Nottingham metro area could provide an £11 billion boost to the local economy by 2030 resulting in up to 250,000 new jobs*, according to the new report.

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Regional Highlights 

£250m funding granted to extend Midland Metro

The Government has provided the money to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to invest in improved transport infrastructure in the region. Read more
University of Derby launch China strategy

The University of Derby has launched a specialist team based in Shanghai, China to help develop and strengthen its global footprint.

The University already has academic collaboration agreements with several key universities in China including the University of Jiangsu, Jiangxi University of Technology, Heifei University and Tongji University. Read more

Work has begun on a £30m German collaboration Clean Transport Hub at the Coventry University

Work has begun on a clean transport lab on Coventry University’s Technology Park. The project is the start of a £30m collaboration between the university and German-based international engineering service provider FEV. Read more
First phase of £15bn smart motorway opens in East Midlands

The scheme between Northampton, junction 16, and the M45, junction 17, is aimed at improving journey times for tens of thousands of drivers a day.

The government has said that up-to-date technology will help keep traffic flowing more smoothly and, with four running lanes instead of three, capacity on the motorway is being increased by a third, now junctions 16 to 17 are open to traffic. Read more
Photo credit: Courtesy of Highways England

In other news...

  • Midlands is in driving seat for UK prosperity Read more
  • Midlands retail is on the up Read more
  • Rolls-Royce planning Ansty manufacturing site Read more
  • East Lincolnshire businesses can access support Read more
  • Building consultancy set to create UK's first stand-alone technology hub in Nottm Read more
  • David Davis visits JCB Read more

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