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 and ten 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 (by 2030).

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 ten 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, shown below with examples of recent or proposed activities:

Trade and investment –

  • Midlands Engine trade missions - With the Government ME has held trade missions to New Delhi for the automotive sector (March 2017), and in 2016 to Dubai for construction firms, and to China (in October 2016) for a range of sectors.
  • Promoted the Midlands Engine 'Pitchbooks' to potential investors - a selection of key development sites in the region, worth an estimated £14billion - at the MIPIM 2016 and MIPIM 2017 international property conventions, held annually in Cannes, France.
  • ME is 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. In March 2017 Midlands Connect published its Midlands Connect Strategy: Powering the Midlands Engine report, looking at better connectivity for the region in future. 

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 –

  • Creating a £250million Midlands Engine Investment Fund (first announced in the March 2016 Budget) aimed at boosting the region’s economy and supporting the growth ambitions of its 780,000 smaller businesses. The fund is a joint agreement between the British Business Bank and ten Midlands’ Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Its work will be funded by legacy funding from existing programmes, new funding from the British Business Bank and new European funding, including from the LEPs (for example, D2N2 will be contributing around £11.7m from its ESIF funding. A series of launch events are due to be be held across the Midlands in late 2017 to open the work of the £250million Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

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 and its latest activities see its website at