The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) held its March Board Meeting at the National Memorial Arboretum, the UK’s year-round centre of remembrance, in Alrewas, Staffordshire.
Highlights discussed during the meeting included an update on the development of a Local Industrial Strategy for the West Midlands. The West Midlands region is one of the first areas in the country to be invited by the Government to create a strategy, and GBSLEP – together with the Coventry & Warwickshire and the Black Country LEPs – has a key role in its production. GBSLEP will lead on action plans for four key sectors of economic strength: life sciences; creative industries; business, professional and financial services; and low carbon technologies.
Other areas of discussion included GBSLEP’s work to help its towns and local centres grow; the importance of the region’s young population in contributing to economic growth; and an update on the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The Board also received an update on recent project investment approvals – including an extension to Dance Hub Birmingham at Birmingham Hippodrome to create a new national centre for dance – and the latest projects in the funding pipeline.
Sarah Montgomery, Managing Director of the National Memorial Arboretum, gave the Board an overview of the Staffordshire venue, which officially opened to the public in May 2001 to honour those who have served the UK. Montgomery highlighted the Arboretum’s latest plans for a new events building at the site, with several Board members taking a short tour of the venue following the meeting.