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West Midlands publishes industrial strategy

Words: Laura Edgar
West Midlands / iStock-507204292-(1)

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street has launched the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy, the first to be published in the UK.

The strategy aims to build on the strengths of the automotive, life sciences, creative and business services sectors at the heart of the regional economy. The intention is to deliver inclusive growth and high-skilled jobs.

Government is touting local industrial strategies as 'key enablers' for delivering its wider national industrial strategy with its ambition to drive growth and productivity while boosting people’s earning power.

Street said the local authority strategy shows how the West Midlands can become a global player in the digital and creative industries. "The strategy will build on these strengths to release the region’s full economic potential for the benefit of all communities across the entire West Midlands.

“It will help us tackle issues like air pollution and climate change while creating a robust economy for the future – one that delivers decent, well paid jobs for local people and the right conditions for competitive, world leading businesses to thrive and grow.”

The strategy was designed in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority, Local Enterprise Partnerships and developed in collaboration with businesses, public partners and civil society. It sets out how the region will work with the government to:

  • Play a leading role in trials of connected autonomous vehicles, with the West Midlands aiming to deploy the first fully operational connected autonomous vehicles in advance of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
  • Drive investment into electric vehicle manufacturing in the region, completing the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and maximising the impact of the Faraday Battery Challenge.
  • Grow the strong creative and digital industries and business and professional services sector.

Business minister Andrew Stephenson, who was present at the launch of the strategy, commented: “The launch of this first local industrial strategy in the West Midlands is testament to the local civic and business leadership in the region, builds on its continued success to ensure every community across the region reaches their potential."

The strategy, said Stephenson, is "tailored to the specific challenges in the West Midlands, and will set an example for other regions to follow".

The West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy can be found on the UK Government website.

Image credit | iStock