LEP Backs Moves to Fire Up Midlands Engine

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has welcomed today’s launch of the Midlands Engine prospectus which aims to boost productivity, attract inward investment, increase connectivity and build a regional tourism offer.Caption: Business Secretary Sajid Javid MP speaking at this morning's launch of the Midlands Engine prospectus at the University of Birmingham

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has welcomed today’s launch of the Midlands Engine prospectus which aims to boost productivity, attract inward investment, increase connectivity and build a regional tourism offer.

Eleven Local Enterprise Partnerships have come together to pool their ambitions in the Midlands Engine Prospectus, which has been launched this morning at Birmingham University.
The new prospectus, supported by Business Secretary Sajid Javid MP, focuses on five key themes – skills, innovation, transport, promoting the Midlands Engine and finance for business – and is part of the Government’s wider plans to support jobs and growth.

If the Midlands region matches the predicted growth rate for the UK over the next 15 years, it could create 300,000 jobs and boost the national economy by £34 billion.

Ruth Carver, Director of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP (one of the 11 LEPs involved) said:

The Midlands Engine is a great step forward for our region and we are strong supporters of today’s launch.

The Midlands has an economy of £222 billion each year and is home to over 11.5 million people. The area has played a strong role in the recovery of the UK economy – over the last year, private sector employment in the Midlands grew more than three times faster than London and the south-east.

But there is much more we can do. As in many other parts of the country we are keen to see a re-balancing of the UK economy so that regions which have traditionally made an important economic contribution – like Scotland, the north of England and the Midlands – can once again reach their full potential.

Mr Javid confirmed this morning that the Midlands will receive £5 million of support for a new trade and investment package to reach new markets and boost exports. He will lead the first Midlands Engine trade mission next year to promote the region to investors and trade partners, delivering more growth, exports and jobs.

He said:

The Midlands is the heartland of our thriving manufacturing sector and home to 25 universities, playing a strong role in the recovery of the UK economy. But there are more opportunities to capitalise on the Midlands’ natural strengths and assets and make it an engine for growth.

Through this prospectus, which sets out the region’s own vision to unlock greater economic growth, it’s time to fire up the Midlands Engine. I commend the leadership shown by the Midlands Local Enterprise Partnerships, local authorities and others to come together and pool resources to work towards the shared goal of greater growth for the whole region.

Specific ambitions for the Midlands Prospectus include:

Trade and Investment

  • Undertake the first Midlands Engine trade mission and host the first senior Midlands Engine inward investment visit
  • Present a selection of Midlands Engine regeneration projects seeking investment, at the MIPIM 2016 property convention
  • Build a regional business visitor and tourism offer

Transport

  • Develop the vision and strategy for transforming transport connectivity across the Midlands Engine region through Midlands Connect

Research and Innovation

  • Evolve phase two of the Midlands Innovation-led Energy Research Accelerator and a pipeline of further similar propositions, including a likely agri-food sector proposition
  • Build a stronger network of regional science parks as well as a higher education foru

Business Support

  • Develop a region-wide fund utilising the EU Joint European Resource for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) programme, supporting the small and medium-sized enterprise growth ambitions of the region. The fund will deliver access to finance solutions on a bigger scale and ambition than before.

Skills

  • Develop a more comprehensive, demand-led approach for skills development in the manufacturing and engineering sectors, based on increased provider collaboration and alignment
  • Undertake a review of best practice relating to employment and skills which will be used to accelerate the take-up of new and innovative ideas.

Visit www.greaterlincolnshirelep.co.uk for more information.

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