Birmingham ‘can help drive post-Brexit success’
• Prime Minister Theresa May speaks exclusively at GBSLEP event
• ‘City vital in building an economy that works for everyone’
• UK-Qatar investment conference cited as a strong signal of investment opportunities
The collaborative, ambitious projects being delivered by Birmingham will help drive a post-Brexit ‘Global Britain’ towards economic prosperity, says Theresa May.
Speaking exclusively at an event hosted by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP), the Prime Minister said empowering cities like Birmingham was vital in building an economy that works for everyone. The event, hosted today (Monday 3 October) at the Birmingham REP, also reflected on the region’s ability to attract top talent and increase inward investment that unlocked jobs.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“We need to be backing innovation, helping our educational establishments to grow their ideas and inventions into real life businesses.
“That means having a proper industrial strategy and supporting not only the sectors that are traditionally successful, but also those that are up and coming – the innovators and disruptors who will be the JLRs and JCBs of tomorrow.
“And it means trading with the world and seizing all the opportunities that are opening up to us as we exit from the EU.”
The PM cited the upcoming UK-Qatar Trade and Investment Conference, being held in Birmingham next year, as a strong signal of the confidence showed by foreign investors in the city and the wider region.
And she also praised the GBSLEP for helping to drive economic success within the region – backed up by last week’s ONS statistics that revealed a 2.2 per cent uplift (an additional 18,600 jobs bringing the total to 737,700) in the GBSLEP area in 2015.
Mrs May added:
“With 600 businesses supported, and 17,000 people helped into employment, the GBSLEP is a great example of what can be done when you have vision and go out there and help your area.”
Meanwhile, attendees at the event heard how the Midlands was attracting global talent by focusing on developing key sectors, whilst harnessing the potential of the huge infrastructure projects such as HS2, UK Central, Curzon and Smithfield in Birmingham and the Friarsgate development in Lichfield.
Steve Hollis, Chair of the GBSLEP, said:
“We’re attracting global talent as we shape our sector thinking in areas such as advanced manufacturing and life sciences – at the heart of this is unlocking more jobs and more growth. The successes we have achieved have been underpinned by the strength of our partnership working – and by building on this collaboration between businesses, academic and the public sectors we can fully realise our ambition of being the top global city region by 2030. ”
Other speakers at the event included Cllr Bob Sleigh, Chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority; Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine as well as Leader and Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllrs John Clancy and Ian Ward.