Chancellor Philip Hammond has launched the Midlands Engine Strategy, which sets out a multimillion-pound investment for skills, connectivity and local growth in the region. This builds on the industrial strategy launched in January and offers additional support for businesses through sector deals.
The Midlands Engine Strategy will see £392 million invested in the region from the Local Growth Fund, to support a number of projects, including: -
£12 million “to unlock commercial and housing development and improve superfast broadband infrastructure” in Coventry and Warwickshire.
£25 million to tackle congestion and improvement in employment sites in the Black Country.
£12 million on improving road connections around Loughborough.
An additional £4 million over the next 2 years to support the operation of the Midlands Engine Partnership, which will bring together local enterprise partnerships, local authori
ties, businesses and academic institutions.
The strategy states that the Homes and Communities Agency will work with Midlands Engine partners to develop a clear, prioritised schedule of publicly owned sites for redevelopment. This work will conclude by the end of 2017.
In addition, the government says it will use the Local Growth Fund allocations to unlock housing development and promote culture across the region, including: -
£12 million to develop a new garden city in the Black Country.
£5 million to transform Redditch Town Centre with new homes and commercial activity.
£8 million to regenerate town centres across Nottinghamshire.
£2 million to improve cultural infrastructure in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Hammond said: “The Midlands has enormous economic potential and it is more important than ever that we now build on its existing strengths to make sure it fulfils it.”
He said the Midlands Engine Strategy is an “…important milestone…” setting out the concrete actions the government is taking, “…where we are not only investing in what it does well but also tackling some of the long-standing productivity barriers in the region including skills and connectivity”