Six West Midlands LEPs join forces to present unified vision for transport investment
The six Local Enterprise Partnerships in the West Midlands have agreed a joint statement agreeing areas of improvement in transport necessary to drive economic growth.
It identifies steps such as the investment in the road and rail network, improving links to HS2 and developing freight activity at Birmingham Airport as well as seeking improved connections to international gateways.
The statement has been prepared alongside the Strategic Economic Plans (SEPs) submitted to Government last week by each of the LEPs.
These SEPS detail how each LEP plans to drive economic growth in their area and includes a bid to Government for Local Growth Fund investment.
The six LEPs which have signed the statement are the Black Country, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Coventry & Warwickshire, the Marches, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire and Worcestershire.
It will support and complement their individual growth strategies.
Andrew Cleaves, Chair of the West Midlands Cross-LEP Transport Group, said: “Transport is an economic issue that unites neighbouring LEP areas and we realise that investment in collective transport priorities will improve the movement of people, goods and services throughout the region and between key centres, providing businesses with access to its required skills and workforce.
“Clearly, transport plays a key role in rebalancing the economy and can only be achieved by working in collaboration, building on our strengths and exploiting the opportunities presented to our region.
“We have the highest proportion of companies in England leading the nation’s export-led economic recovery which is seen in the strength of our advanced manufacturing sector.
“The six LEPs are committed to improving regional and local links to HS2 in order to maximise the economic benefits across the wider Midlands area, and to help release capacity on the already congested local transport networks.
“Access to developing markets is of great importance to our exporters, thus we see the development of regional airports as being critical to link us to these markets.
“We asking Government to Government to prioritise investment in our transport network and to work with us to release sustainable long term economic growth built on our proven success.”
To see the Cross-LEP transport statement click here.