An introduction from Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine:
"Last month may well prove to be the wettest May on record but even the weather can’t dampen the positive mood our economy appears to be in. The latest figures from the Midlands Engine Observatory tell us that business activity in the Midlands has benefitted from real, measurable growth, with the West Midlands in fact seeing the largest increase in a single month since records began in 1997!
That same optimism for the future was also obvious at the Midlands Engine All-Party Parliamentary Group’s (APPG) first Annual General Meeting, which I was delighted to have been able to attend recently. It’s been a very successful first year for the APPG and I would like to thank all of our parliamentarians involved, including our co-chairs Lord Ravensdale and Darren Henry MP, who have worked tirelessly to give our region an ever stronger voice in Parliament.
Hearing from the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick MP at the meeting, I was reminded of the many major opportunities ahead for our region, including two Freeports - the East Midlands Global Gateway at East Midlands Airport and the Humber Ports Freeport in Immingham, North East Lincolnshire – as well as the East Midlands Development Corporation.
Recent announcements of yet more civil service jobs relocating to the Midlands are further signs of confidence in our region, with the Home Office and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy joining colleagues from the Department of Transport and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government in having a base in the Midlands.
Our region boasts a wealth of strengths that make us an attractive place for businesses and people to relocate to, as we saw at the Invest Midlands conference this week, where I was joined by industry voices to debate the future direction of the Midlands.
It’s clear that our region can and will continue to lead in overcoming the challenges the UK will face in the coming years, so my thanks to all our partners who make up the Midlands Engine, support our work and help guide our direction as we move towards the future, together.
Sir John Peace, Chairman, Midlands Engine
To read the full report and news, head over to Issue 14 of Midlands Matters here.