Midlands Engine Strategy
The launch of the Midlands Engine Strategy is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to making the Midlands a powerful engine for economic growth. Stretching from Shropshire to Lincolnshire, with the M1, M6, and most of our major railway lines running through it, the Midlands sits at the very heart of the UK economy. The Midlands is also a gateway to the global economy, boasting Birmingham and East Midlands Airports alongside key ports such as at Grimsby and Immingham.
The Midlands is essential to our national economic success. The region is responsible for over a fifth of the UK’s total manufacturing capability. The services sector in the Midlands accounts for over four million jobs and is worth around £158 billion a year. This is a dynamic region: there are now 427,610 more people in employment in the Midlands than there were in 2010 and the size of the Midlands economy has increased by £32.9 billion.
But there’s more that we can do to harness the region’s potential to help deliver the future we want for our country after we have left the European Union. Building on our modern Industrial Strategy, the Midlands Engine Strategy sets out concrete actions we are taking to address productivity barriers across the Midlands, enabling businesses to create more jobs, export more goods and services, and grow their productivity. Today we are announcing our plans to invest £392 million across the Midlands through the Local Growth Fund. We will invest £20 million in a Midlands Skills Challenge to help close the skills gap between the Midlands and the rest of the country. We will launch the £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund this Spring to finance the expansion plans of SMEs across the region. And our Midlands Trade and Investment Programme will help position the Midlands Engine on the global stage.
Ours is an ambitious vision for the region. The Midlands Engine Investment Hub is helping to deliver more high value foreign investment projects. The first three Midlands Engine Trade and Investment Missions took place last year - to North America, China and Dubai - marketing the strengths of the Midlands on the world stage. And we will publish a Midlands Engine Investment Portfolio later this month, to showcase the potential opportunities for investors.
Underpinning the Midlands Engine Strategy, and crucial to its success, is close engagement with local partners – Local and Combined Authorities, universities, businesses and Local Enterprise Partnerships. The Midlands Engine Partnership, and its Chair Sir John Peace, have provided strong leadership for this work. Sajid Javid, the Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine will continue to lead the work for Government. Working together, we can achieve our ambitious vision for a Midlands economy that works for everyone.
Rt Hon Philip Hammond
MP Chancellor of the Exchequer
This is the Foreword from the Midlands Engine Strategy - you can download the full Strategy Document here.