Midlands Engine Strategy could shift region into high gear, says KPMG
Karl Edge, Midlands Regional Chairman at KPMG comments on the Midlands Engine Strategy published today.
“The plans and investment that the Government has pledged to make in the Midlands recognise the important part the region has to play in driving national economic success and productivity.
“The statistics don’t lie: the Midlands is the real heartland of automotive and manufacturing. We have a strong services sector, employment is rising, and our cities and towns are growing. Which is why the measures announced both today and in yesterday’s Budget are absolutely crucial to ensure that our region is fit to compete on the global stage.
“It’s also really encouraging to see the spread of investment throughout the region: it can often feel like the East Midlands gets overlooked. The £392m investment from the Local Growth Fund includes support for a number of projects across the patch, such as a global hub for space technology in Leicester and £12m to improve roads in Loughborough.
“Further investment in regional infrastructure will improve connectivity for residents and visitors, and help to attract foreign investment and bolster our connections with the rest of the world, which will be crucial as the UK exits the EU.
“While the strategy recognises our strengths, it also takes practical steps to address areas for improvement, such as productivity and skills, a fragmented regional economy and entrepreneurship. But most importantly, it identifies the need to listen to the voice of the region’s businesses, communities, educational institutions, local enterprise partnerships and local authorities.
“Collaboration is key, and the Government’s hands-on approach is reassuring, particularly at a time when uncertainty has caused some nervousness. However, the actions and funds announced this week are proof that the Midlands’ potential will no longer go on untapped, and we need the Government to continue to deliver as it begins to put flesh on the bones of its industrial strategy.”