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Plans to make the Midlands an engine of growth unveiled

6 July 2016

A new Midlands investment hub, overseas trade missions and extra government funding will see the Midlands Engine firing on all cylinders.

Addressing business leaders and decision makers at the Midlands Engine Summit this week Business Minister Anna Soubry will announce further support to boost growth in the region and help the Midlands Engine realise its vision and bring 300,000 jobs and £34 billion to the UK economy.

A new Midlands Engine foreign investment hub based in Birmingham will help deliver more high value investments into the Midlands Engine. Close to Birmingham International Airport and mainline rail connections, the hub will bring together a range of partners including the eleven local enterprise partnerships and UKTI. When established, the new Midlands Engine foreign investment hub will be tasked with creating 1,400 jobs and bringing £15 million of foreign investment into the region over the next three years. It will also manage a £2 million Challenge Fund – with the eight successful bids for a share of the fund due to be confirmed at the summit.

North America will welcome the first major Midlands Engine trade mission in September, with Business Secretary Sajid Javid leading the delegation.

The Midlands Engine region, of which the South East Midlands is a part, is home to over 11.5 million people and makes a £222 billion annual contribution to the UK economy, boasting many globally significant employers, a strong manufacturing and engineering base as well as growing sectors such as creative, life science and green technologies – often linked to the area’s many excellent universities.

Sir John Peace, the recently appointed Midlands Engine chairman, said: “I have been very impressed since becoming the chair of the Midlands Engine with the tireless work that has already been put in by the public and private sectors to gear-up the Midlands Engine since it was launched just a few months ago.

“I believe we are now ready to very clearly and very loudly speak with one united voice on the world’s stage – The Midlands is the beating heart of UK manufacturing, we are the beating heart of the country and the home to global iconic businesses, we are a magnet for investment and we can deliver results which can drive forward the UK economy.

“Now that we know the result of the referendum, regardless of individual views on the outcome, we in the Midlands must seize on this and turn it into an opportunity to deliver jobs, growth and innovation. We are perfectly placed to deliver the message of our readiness straight to the very heart of Government today through the Minister of State for the Department for Business - demonstrating our willingness to lead the UK trade offer at such an important time.”

Business Minister Anna Soubry said: “Following the EU referendum result, I recognise there’s a level of uncertainty over what the future holds. But now’s the time to work together and support businesses to build partnerships that can help them grow.

“Local economies are key to the success of UK growth, and this new government funding for the Midlands will help attract investment, encourage trade and create jobs. So let’s keep telling the rest of the world what we already know: that the Midlands Engine is a great place to do business, with excellent universities and local leaders committed to seeing the area thrive.”

Download the Midlands Engine for Growth Prospectus HERE.

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