The Midlander 17 - October 2018

The newsletter of the Midlands Engine

Budget 2018: What does it mean for the Midlands

The Midlands has received a hugely significant show of support in the Budget with the Chancellor of the Exchequer re-affirming the need to ‘fuel’ the Midlands Engine in order to drive productivity.
This followed some very encouraging results from the Conservative Party Conference and a series of positive announcements in the run-up to the Budget.
We were particularly pleased to hear the Chancellor confirm that the Midlands Engine strategy would be refreshed next year which should give renewed vigour for our pipeline of projects that are currently being developed. Find out more

You can find the official HM Government budget document here

MIPIM: value of Midlands UK meetings with investors doubles to £5.7 billion

The Midlands UK delegation at the global property and real estate show MIPIM 2018 attended £5.7 billion worth of face-to-face meetings with potential investors and partners during the event – an increase of 104% on the previous year.

Senior private and public sector leaders from across the region took part in nearly 1,000 meetings with international investors, asset managers and venture capitalists throughout the event in March, up from 850 meetings in 2017. The monetary value of the projects discussed at the meetings more than doubled from the previous year (£2.8 billion), meaning that delegates were able to present even more investment and partnership opportunities from the Midlands. Find out more

Gymnast Hannah Martin in front of one of the 17 venues which will host the Commonwealth Games

Venues announced for Birmingham 2022

The Sport and Venue Programme for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has this month been announced.  

17 sports will take place over 11 days of action-packed competition, at venues across the host city and throughout the West Midlands and beyondFind out more

The news comes as James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, announced £165 million worth of funding to build the Athletes’ Village for the games and the infrastructure needed for thousands more new homes afterwards. Find out more  

India trade delegation visiting JLR in Pune

James Brokenshire leads Midlands Engine trade visit to India

The visit promoted business and technology ties between the Midlands and the growing Asian economic powerhouse.

The Secretary of State, who is also the government’s Midlands Engine Champion, brought together senior British and Indian officials and businesses to re-affirm a commitment to the Midlands-Maharashtra Technology Partnership. Find out more

Also this month, representatives from Derbyshire businesses visited Japan to take part in the Toyota City Industry Festival. Find out more

In addition, the Department for International Trade Midlands Investment Team hosted a delegation from China as part of the 4th Sino-UK Rail Working Group (RWG) Meeting. The delegation heard from Fiona Piercy, Programme Director, on the Midlands Engine Strategy, and from Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect.  

Birmingham, Nottingham and Coventry all move up places on UK's Top 20 Cities for creative and tech industries index

CBRE, the world's largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, has published its 2018 ranking of the UK's best regional cities for the creative and tech industries.

Nottingham, Birmingham and Coventry all feature on this year's top 20 list of UK creative and tech cities, and all have moved up places from last year's index.

Birmingham lead the Midlands cities rising from 7th last year to 2nd, only behind Manchester as the UK's best city for creative and tech industries, while Nottingham rose from 14th to 9th, and Coventry appears on the index for the first time rising from 23rd to 17th.

Birmingham performed particularly well due to topping the rankings for the largest number of SMEs in the information and communications sector, while Nottingham climbed five places due to an increase in the number of employees in information and communications. Nottingham and Derby came out ahead of the other European locations in their ‘Growth Cluster’ peer group, with both consistently achieving double digit growth in high-tech employment since 2010. Download the full report here

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street testing a driverless car. Image courtesy of WMCA 

West Midlands chosen as UK's first Future Mobility Area

The West Midlands will pioneer innovative new transport schemes to make journeys quicker, cheaper and cleaner following a £20 million funding announcement.

The region has been chosen as the UK’s first Future Mobility Area and will invest the funding in new technology.

Transport for West Midlands, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), will work with companies to trial and demonstrate new modes of transport, services and technologies. It will develop new services, apps and projects to improve mobility, speed up journey times and further develop a joined-up transport network across Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton. Find out more

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street with Secretary of State Chris Grayling. Image Courtesy of HS2

Transport investment in East Midlands welcomed as HS2 works in Birmingham starts, and consultation on Birmingham and Solihull HS2 stations begins

Midlands Connect has welcomed the Chancellor's announcement to provide £2 million of funding to support a study into how best to redevelop the area around Toton in the East Midlands, to ensure it maximises the growth opportunities offered by HS2.

Midlands Connect Director, Maria Machancoses, said: “Together with East Midlands Councils, the Midlands Engine and other partners in the East Midlands, we have been clear that jobs, housing and infrastructure to connect Toton to Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and East Midlands Airport can all be delivered in the 2020s, well before HS2 services arrive. We’re also making the case for opening Toton to HS2 services in 2030, three years earlier than planned. Find out more

Also this month saw Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street (pictured) oversee the start of construction of the HS2 rail line in Birmingham, near to the future HS2 Curzon Street Railway Station in the city centre. Find out more

While HS2 has also unveiled designs for the West Midlands' two stations - Curzon Street Station and Interchange – close to the National Exhibition Centre and airport in Solihull. Find out more

University Vice Chancellors / Professors (L-R): Alec Cameron (Aston), Paul Boyle (Leicester), Sir Peter Gregson (Cranfield), Sir David Eastwood (Birmingham), Stuart Croft (Warwick), Trevor McMillan,(Keele), Shearer West (Nottingham), Robert Allison (Loughborough)

New technology transfer network set to accelerate innovation in the Midlands

The Midlands Innovation group of universities has launched the largest collaboration between university technology transfer offices in the UK, to attract investment and management talent to the region.

The Midlands Innovation Commercialisation of Research Accelerator (MICRA) will share best practice and share resources across technology transfer offices in Midlands universities. The partnership will support the development of spin-out companies, helping them to obtain finance and expertise, and accelerating the rate at which innovations are able to be commercialised. Find out more

Image Courtesy of East Midlands Airport

Value of non-EU goods handled at East Midlands Airport at all time high as ONS figures show rise in exports

The value of goods shipped to and from non-EU countries through East Midlands Airport (EMA) hit a record high in July.

EMA, the UK's largest freight terminal outside of London, saw £975 million worth of products transported to 196 different territories and countries across the world. This is an increase of £148 million compared with July 2017.

In the 12 months to July, the total value of non-EU goods handled at EMA exceeded £10 billion for the first time ever. Of this, £5.3 billion was exports. Find out more

The news comes as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed figures that show demand for British goods and services continues to grow, with exports continuing to rise to £637 billion in the year to August 2018. Find out more

Image courtesy of The Manufacturing Technology Centre

Government support to boost skills and prosperity

The government has announced a package of measures to support business to boost skills, growth and prosperity in the new economy.

Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged government support for apprenticeships, adult training, to boost management skills in small businesses, and to ensure the UK’s world-class regulatory system is fit for the future. Find out more

The news comes as MIRA Technology Institute in Leicestershire has announced that it will provide access to a unique skills escalator for automotive sector apprentices, enabling progress to higher and degree level Apprenticeships and beyond. This means that for the first time individuals can start an automotive sector apprenticeship and progress to a PhD with the same training organisation. Find out more about MIRA

Medilink Midlands Directors' Dr Darren Clark and Richard Stone.
Image Courtesy of Medilink Midlands

Midlands life sciences body launches and seals first trade deal

Medilink Midlands, a pan-regional strategic alliance between the Medilinks in the East and West Midlands, has recently been established to bring the collective expertise of the two organisations together. It will preserve the interests of over 1,700 life science organisations within the region and stimulate growth to support this vital element of the Midlands' economy.

Medilink Midlands has a combined network of over 8,000 contacts in over 1,700 organisations within the life sciences sector. The launch of Medilink Midlands follows the Government's Industrial Strategy announcement to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the country. Working alongside the Midlands Engine and other strategic alliances, Medilink Midlands’ sole aim is to help stimulate additional and value-added growth to the Midlands as a prosperous community for life sciences. Find out more

Shortly after the new partnership was launched, Medilink Midlands and the City of Mentor in the US announced a strategic collaboration to promote bilateral life sciences trade and investment between the Midlands and Northeast Ohio.

There are over 700 medical and bioscience companies in Northeast Ohio and the cluster includes world-leading companies such as General Electric, Siemens, Philips, Toshiba, Hitachi, and STERIS.

The UK has the third largest medical technology sector in Europe, and the Midlands has the largest regional cluster in this sector in Europe. Find out more

More regional highlights

  • Private equity investment in the Midlands increases by nearly 30% in two years. Read more 
  • £705,000 manufacturing support boost generates 388 jobs in the East Midlands. Read more 
  • Corby logistics park receives £89.3 million funding. Read more 
  • British Business Investments launches new £100 million programme to support regional angel investment. Read more 
  • Chesterfield in the running to host new Talgo Factory. Read more 
  • Warwickshire electronic firm secures £250,000 MEIF investment. Read more 
  • Staffordshire partnership created to boost digital innovation. Read more 
  • Leicestershire manufacturer receives £110,000 loan from the MEIF. Read more  
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