The Midlands Engine for Growth

What is the Midlands Engine?

The Midlands Engine initiative looks to make the East and West Midlands an engine for growth for the UK economy. It is being backed by business, local authorities, 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships (pictured) – including the D2N2 LEP.

Which LEPs are involved in Midlands Engine and where do they cover?

Contains National Statistics data © Crown copyright and database right 2016
Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right 2016

Midlands Engine Prospectus

The Midlands Engine Prospectus sets out how 300,000 jobs and £34billion worth of growth could be achieved in the next 15 years.

The Prospectus’ overarching ambitions are to grow the region’s economy, creating 300,000 jobs and boosting the national economy by £34billion. The Prospectus will be used to complete a more comprehensive analysis of the Midlands Engine economy, to update its aims and objectives, and develop a productivity improvement plan.

Government is backing the initiative with a £5million trade and investment package; to help promote the Midlands Engine overseas, reach new markets and boost exports.

What will the Midlands Engine do for the area?

Key to developing the Prospectus 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.

The new Prospectus focuses on five key themes:

Trade and investment –

  • Undertaking the first Midlands Engine trade mission and hosting the first senior Midlands Engine inward investment visit.
  • Presenting a selection of Midlands Engine regeneration projects seeking investment, at the MIPIM 2016 property convention (the annual global property event held in Cannes, France).
  • Building a regional business visitor and tourism offer.

Transport –

  • Developing the vision and strategy for transforming transport connectivity across the Midlands Engine region through Midlands Connect, the cross-region group – which the D2N2 LEP is a part of – now working towards better integrated transport systems across the Midlands.

Research and innovation

  • Evolving Phase 2 of the Midlands Innovation-led Energy Research Accelerator; the partnership between Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick universities, and the British Geological Survey, conducting research into thermal, integrated systems and geo energy. It is receiving £60m from the Government and there is also a pipeline of similar propositions, including a likely agri-food sector proposition
  • Building a stronger network of regional science parks, as well as a higher education forum.

Business support –

  • Developing a region-wide ‘fund of funds’, utilising the European Union’s Joint European Resource for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) programme, supporting small and medium enterprise growth ambitions in the region. This fund will deliver access to finance solutions on a larger scale and ambition than before.

Skills –

  • 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.

For more information about the Midlands Engine launch see the announcement on the Gov.UK website