Have your say on rail improvements

July 20, 2022

Businesses have been urged to have their say on options to improve rail links between Shropshire, Telford, the Black Country and Birmingham. 

Strategic transport body Midlands Connect has launched the online survey asking all businesses for their views on possible upgrades to the line.

The survey builds on work released last year in Midlands Connect’s Rails to Recovery report, which found that electrifying the route through Telford and the Black Country and extending London services to Shrewsbury could create up to £500million of benefits for businesses and residents by making the trains hourly to London from Shrewsbury.

Midlands Connect Senior Rail Programme Manager Tawhida Yaacoub said: “We are calling on employers and businesses in Shropshire, the Black Country and Birmingham to get involved in our online consultation to make their voices heard.

“We want to know what the impact could be on them if we improve the rail route and specifically, if it could lead to more jobs and growth in the local economy.

“The data given to us by local firms will be weaved into the business cases we are submitting to government to help make the case for investment in this regionally critical rail route.”

The survey will close on September 5 2022, with results to be announced soon after. Midlands Connect also plan to submit a business case to government in the coming weeks for improvements on the line.

To take part in the survey visit https://midlandsconnect.consultationonline.co.uk/shrewsbury-blackcountry-birmingham/

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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: www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk | email: enquiries@marchesgrowthhub.co.uk.

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

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: gary.spence@shropshire.gov.uk

For any finance queries please contact: michelle.hodgkiss@shropshire.gov.uk

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

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