The Midlands Engine is the partnership ensuring that the Midlands will enjoy increasing economic growth, improved productivity and the creation of more wealth that is shared more widely amongst Midlanders. We are determined to build our collective identity, to develop our competitive offer and to promote the Midlands to the world. The Midlands has:
- An economy worth over £200 billion
- A population of almost 12 million people
- A quarter of the UK’s manufacturing capacity
- 20% of all UK exports
- A 4.6 million strong workforce
- 20 universities
Since its launch in December 2015, the Midlands Engine partnership has already:
- Carried out a comprehensive Science and Innovation Audit.
- Attracted £180 million funding for the Energy Research Accelerator.
- Established the £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund for growing SMEs.
- Developed the Midlands Connect Strategy, a long-term vision for improving transport connectivity, and secured £22m funding from the Department for Transport to progress it.
- Secured support for 20 overseas trade missions.
- Brought the private and public sector together to promote our shared offer and major investment opportunities in a pan-regional Investment Portfolio.
- Come together in an unprecedented collaboration at Mipim 2017 to promote the Midlands offer on a scale that makes sense in global markets.
Driving growth and improving productivity are the key long-term priorities of the Midlands Engine.
A strategic location, the quality, scale, and the advanced manufacturing and export oriented nature of our economy mean the Midlands is the heartbeat of the UK’s economy.
We have an internationally competitive and highly connected manufacturing base, recently strengthened by Toyota’s decision to invest a further £240m in their production facilities in Derby.
Enriched by a range of complementary sectoral strengths, illustrated by HSBC’s relocation of its retail banking headquarters to Birmingham, the Midlands Engine is positioned perfectly to drive improved economic performance for the UK and to make a substantial and lasting contribution to the delivery of the government’s Industrial Strategy.
We have a well-developed evidence base of our strengths. The Midlands Engine Science and Innovation Audit (2016) identified key sectors and industries vital to a regional Industrial Strategy and essential assets of a national Industrial Strategy.
Alongside our cutting-edge finance and service businesses, and our world-class, sector-deal seeking ceramic design and manufacture industries, the Midlands has clear market and sector strengths, underpinned by cross-sector enabling capabilities.
These Midlands Market and Sector Strengths were identified by our Science and Innovation Audit.
- Next Generation Transport: aerospace, space, automotive, motorsport and rail sectors; high performance system simulation, advanced digital design and validation, advanced materials processes, digital manufacturing, and supply chain.
- Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals: medical devices, software as a medical device, diagnostics and diagnostic imaging, and pharmaceuticals.
- Future Food Processing: food processing efficiency, zero waste food chain, and food product innovation.
- Energy and Low Carbon: geo-energy, thermal energy systems, nuclear, energy storage and smart energy systems.
We believe these strengths can be at the heart of the UK’s modern Industrial Strategy.
In March 2017 the Chancellor of the Exchequer launched the government’s Midlands Engine Strategy which includes over £400m of investment in the region.
Since then the Midlands Engine Theme Groups have been developing our response to the strategy, addressing the opportunities and benefits to be gained, by the region and the country, from improvements in Connectivity, Skills, Innovation, Trade & Investment and Quality of Life.
The output of this activity is now in the late stages of development and will be published early in the Autumn. It will form the basis of the Midlands Engine work over the coming years, will express our renewed objectives and set out the key deliverables that will become the focus of the work of successful applicants.