Local authorities and LEPs across the Midlands – including the Greater Lincolnshire LEP – continue to work together to progress the Midlands Engine for Growth.
The Midlands Engine Prospectus sets out how 300,000 jobs and £34 billion worth of growth could be achieved for the region in the next 15 years.
The Government is backing the initiative with a £5 million trade and investment package to help promote the Midlands Engine overseas, reach new markets and boost exports.
The Midlands Engine is taking a wide-ranging approach to promotion, targeting its efforts on key markets and industries and working with UKTI’s Regeneration Investment Organisation (RIO) to bring sites to market. The aim is also to build a regional business visitor and tourism offer and to promote the region’s airports as key gateways to the UK.
Efforts to improve innovation across the Midlands include helping key sectors to evolve so that they are internationally competitive. The Midlands Engine also aims to create a stronger network of science parks and innovation centres and a higher education forum.
More financial help will be available for the region’s businesses: there will be a comprehensive fund of funds and a range of new financial mechanisms, while finance for business will be part of an integrated business support offer.
Skills development in the Midlands is not keeping pace with demand in key sectors such as manufacturing, so the Midlands Engine aims to produce a supply of newly trained employees with high-level technical, engineering and advanced manufacturing skills to meet growth needs.
Transport priorities are the responsibility of Midlands Connect, which is working as part of the Midlands Engine to improve transport infrastructure, particularly routes running from east to west across the region.
The aim is to capitalise on the region’s important strategic position within the UK transport network; work in partnership to boost the economy; and exploit the opportunities of HS2.