£66 million package to help kick-start the West Midlands recovery


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In Summary

General | 4th August 2020
Eight ‘shovel ready’ projects, ranging from the National Brownfield Land Institute to Very Light Rail developments are set to benefit from £66 million of Government funding secured for the region.

In Detail

The money from the Government’s Getting Building Fund (GGBF) is aimed at projects which can be started quickly and completed within 18 months. This creates jobs and drives investment to aid the economic recovery following the coronavirus lockdown.

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), working with Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, Black Country LEP and Coventry and Warwickshire LEP delivered the region’s prioritised list of projects to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), which has been confirmed today.

Combined, the projects will create about 2,110 jobs, as well as support 1,419 construction jobs during development.

The projects are:

  • £6m towards Coventry City of Culture to support various initiatives to make the most of the opportunities presented by 2021 – including the creation of a new heritage park.
  • Coventry’s Very Light Rail project to receive £1.8m.
  • £3.9m towards improved facilities at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry as part of the Commonwealth Games legacy scheme.
  • £15.1m towards the redevelopment of University Station in Edgbaston.
  • £1m towards WM5G’s work with small and medium sized business to develop ground breaking apps.
  • £10.8m to provide innovation spaces and research laboratories at the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus.
  • £12.4m for the Very Light Rail Innovation Centre in Dudley where new modes of transport which are both green and cheaper and quicker to deliver than traditional tram or rail are being developed.
  • The National Brownfield Land Institute, at the University of Wolverhampton will receive £14.9m. It will research and develop new construction methods and ways of regenerating contaminated land.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “At a difficult time for the West Midlands’ economy brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, it is great to see the Government putting further cash on the table to help aid our recovery.

“This £66m from the Get Britain Building Fund will go towards exciting, shovel-ready, projects across the region that will make an immediate difference by helping to create and secure local jobs for local people.

“As well as an immediate investment to re-boot our local economy, the £66m is also an investment in our future, to secure the West Midlands’ place as a global leader in green and clean technology, life sciences, and the transport of the future.

“This announcement is just one part of our much bigger plans to reset, recharge and rebuild the West Midlands economy by investing in the future and retaining current and creating new jobs.”

The latest funding comes hot on the heels of the Prime Minister’s ‘New Deal’ announcement in Dudley on Tuesday, which included £84 million for the WMCA to unlock more derelict industrial land for housing.

Last week the region also submitted to Government a £3.2 billion blueprint to kickstart the West Midlands economy and create long-term prosperity for the region and wider UK.

Nick Abell, interim chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “We represent the interests of Coventry and Warwickshire and while we welcome the ring-fenced £8 million for Warwickshire, we will strongly be putting forward the case to Government for infrastructure projects for Coventry – knowing that together they will serve our area and its economic geography in the best way possible.”

A separate £8m funding pot, which has also been confirmed by Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government, will be allocated to Warwickshire.