The Midlands Engine initiative looks to make the West and East Midlands an engine for growth for the UK economy. It is being backed by business, local authorities and 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships including The Marches LEP.
The Midlands Engine Strategy is about 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.
Building on the modern Industrial Strategy, the Midlands Engine Strategy sets out the actions being taken to address productivity barriers across the Midlands, enabling businesses to create more jobs, export more goods and services, and grow their productivity.
Graham Wynn sits on the Midlands Engine Strategic Board representing The Marches LEP.
What will the Midlands Engine do for the area?
Key to developing the Strategy has been the region’s 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships coming together to boost productivity, attract inward investment, increase connectivity and build a regional tourism offer.
It focuses on five key themes:
Trade and investment
- Undertaking Midlands Engine trade missions and hosting Midlands Engine inward investment visits.
- Presenting the Midlands Engine to investors at the MIPIM property convention (the annual global property event held in Cannes, France).
- Building a regional business visitor and tourism offer.
- Mark Pearce from the Hereford Enterprise Zone is our representative on the Midlands Engine Inward Investment Group
- Developing the vision and strategy for transforming transport connectivity across the Midlands Engine region through Midlands Connect, the cross-region group, which the The Marches LEP is a part of, working towards better integrated transport systems across the Midlands.
- The Marches LEP is represented on the Midlands Connect Board by Graham Wynn
Research and innovation
- Supporting industrial clusters to realise their potential.
- Building a stronger network of regional science parks, as well as a higher education forum.
- David Llewellyn represents the Marches LEP on the Midlands Engine Science and Innovation Group
- The Midlands Engine Science and Innovation Audit can be found here
Access to Finance
- A £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund is being created, aimed at boosting the region’s economy MEIF map and supporting the growth ambitions of its 460,000 smaller businesses. The fund, a joint agreement between the British Business Bank and eleven Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the East & South East and West Midlands, is expected to bring together legacy funding from existing programmes, new funding from the British Business Bank and new European funding. Expected to launch in Summer 2017, you can find out more about this here.
- Developing a more comprehensive, demand-led approach for skills development in the manufacturing and engineering sectors, based on increased provider collaboration and alignment.
- Undertaking a review of best practice relating to employment and skills. This will be used to accelerate the take up of new and innovative ideas.
- The Marches LEP is represented on the Midlands Engine Skills Group by Ian Oakes