Steve Hollis, GBSLEP Chair comments on the Midlands Engine Strategy

“We welcome the launch of the Government’s Midlands Engine Strategy and the recognition that the region is essential to our national economic success.

“A focus on connectivity, skills, enterprise and innovation, trade and investment and quality of life to drive productivity are all things the GBSLEP has recognised as being critical to realising our full potential. Additional Government support in these areas is therefore positive.

“A commitment to smart ticketing across the region, supporting co-ordination of agencies across the West Midlands and working with us to maximise the benefits of HS2 are all important steps to helping us to improve journey times and experiences and to tackle congestion.

“The ambition to close the skills gaps between the Midlands and the rest of the UK is essential for the region’s growth.The work coaches programme that has been operating across Birmingham and Solihull for the last two years has had significant success in getting local people into local jobs.£11 million of funding to roll-out this initiative out across the WMCA area is therefore welcomed.

“Government commitment to work with the Midlands Engine to develop investment propositions to exploit our science and innovation strengths and to increase productivity across our supply chains is also critical.We will seek to collaboratively develop strong proposals to maximise this opportunity.

The chance to showcase the Government Art Collection in Birmingham is one we must seize, both for the benefit of residents and businesses of the region but also to attract those looking to invest here.

“Delivering on these ambitions will only be possible through partnership working across Government, LEPs, the WMCA, businesses, local authorities and the education sector.We are pleased that Ministers recognise this. We stand ready to continue to play a strong part in driving the economic growth of the region.”

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