Businesses asked for views on cross-region transport

July 2, 2015

Businesses across the Marches are being invited to contribute their opinions on the state of the road and rail networks across the whole Midlands region as part of a major research study being carried out by Midlands Connect.

Midlands Connect is an ambitious initiative, supported by the region’s local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), aimed at identifying and then realising the transport connectivity improvements that the Midlands need to maximise long-term regional economic growth.

Its central location; role as the heartland of the UK’s manufacturing sector; high concentration of logistics activity; the buoyancy of its high-growth technology businesses and the strong presence of professional services in its key cities, all make the economic potential of the Midlands significant.

However, congestion, delays, overcrowding and poor services all threaten to impact this economic potential and so Midlands Connect is undertaking this research to better understand how organisations in the region do business and what impact the current transport infrastructure has on their productivity.

Gill Hamer, Director of the Marches LEP, comments: “It is vitally important that businesses in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, and across the entire Marches region, are represented in this valuable study. This equips us with the evidence necessary to most effectively raise a case for investment with government.

“The Midlands has a huge economic potential and the contribution that the Marches makes to this shouldn’t be underestimated. We outlined last year our ambitious plans for continued growth in the region through our Strategic Economic Plan and to successfully realise these we need to ensure that the transport infrastructure is improved to maximise connectivity and unlock opportunities for growth. For this reason I would urge local business to take the time to contribute to this.”

The Midlands Connect research initial economic report identified key growth corridors, including Wolverhampton-Telford-Shrewsbury-Wales along the M6-M54 as well as the A49 through Herefordshire towards Wales and the Worcester-Hereford-Cardiff route.

Gill added: “This is certainly good news. Growth hubs tend to be the major cities but we are identified as having key employment sites along these corridors.”

The research closes at the end of July and  businesses interested in taking part should visit: (Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin businesses) (Herefordshire businesses)

This business research is just one aspect of Midlands Connect’s overall mission which will culminate in early 2016 with a proposed ‘Preferred Transport Priorities” report.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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