GBSLEP Response to the Summer Budget
Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) said: “It is encouraging that the Chancellor has recognised the ambition of GBSLEP and its partners to drive economic growth and the good progress being made to achieve our aims.
“We know that we need more people to have better skills and more people to be in work if we are to truly achieve our potential. We therefore welcome the building on the work coaches initiative, launched at our annual conference, with the creation of a new Employment Advisor role, starting in Birmingham and then rolling out across the LEP area.
“This initiative with the Department for Work and Pensions is just part of our employment and skills agenda. We have been progressing work with the Black Country and Coventry and Warwickshire LEPs to drive a step-change in performance across the region. We therefore welcome the renewed commitment by the chancellor and hope to negotiate a deal over the coming months to realise our ambition.
“This work on employment and skills will become a key focus for the West Midlands Combined Authority. We are pleased that the Chancellor has signalled his support for its creation and has recognised the potential for even greater economic outcomes to be achieved through it.
“As referred to by the Chancellor, we will also be submitting our business case to Government for the extension of our Enterprise Zone to cover the Curzon Masterplan area of the city. This critical proposal will enable us to fund an investment package to help maximise the benefits of HS2. Improved connectivity to and between the stations will be a key part of this and we therefore welcome the continued dialogue with government around the further extension of Midlands Metro as set out in out HS2 Growth Strategy.
“The announcement of £5 million funding to support ‘Midlands Connect’ will support us to develop a vision for transport investment across the East and West Midlands to drive further economic growth. It will form a key part of ours, and the Government’s, ambition to establish a Midlands Engine.”