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Midlands Engine

Volume 622: debated on Monday 27 February 2017

In the past few weeks, the Government have reaffirmed our commitment to the midlands engine, announcing two new midlands enterprise zones—one in Brierley Hill in Dudley, and the other in Leicester and Loughborough. The first ever midlands engine trade summit will take place in Birmingham on 9 March.

As a midlands MP, I am pleased to see a strong and successful midlands engine, as well as the economic benefits it will bring throughout the region. In Northampton, small businesses will be eligible for the £250 million midlands engine investment fund, which will open shortly. In addition, Northampton will benefit from more than £5 billion of investment in midlands transport infrastructure.

London gets shedloads of money for public transport and Manchester has far more miles of tram network than the urban west midlands. As a west midlands MP, what discussions has the Secretary of State had with the Secretary of State for Transport on extending the tram network massively in the urban west midlands?

As a local MP, the hon. Gentleman will know about some of the work that is going on, especially around Birmingham, to extend the tram network, which could make a big difference. He will also know about our recent announcement of £392 million of local growth funding for the region. There will be more detail shortly, but a large part of that will go to transport projects.