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Industrial Strategy (West Midlands)

Volume 660: debated on Thursday 16 May 2019

Our modern industrial strategy is a long-term plan to boost productivity and earning power for people throughout the country.

Since 2010, local leaders, working in partnership with Government, have delivered historic city deals with Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire and the Black Country. Having secured significant growth deal funding, the west midlands then came together as one to capitalise on these important new powers and establish new leadership through two successful devolution deals.

Building on these strong foundations, we set out in the modern industrial strategy to work in partnership with places to develop local industrial strategies. Local industrial strategies are central to our aim of creating prosperous communities across the country. They are being developed locally and agreed with Government. They are long term, based on clear evidence and aligned to the modern industrial strategy.

Today we launched the first of these strategies—the west midlands local industrial strategy. This has been developed locally by the West Midlands Combined Authority, led by Mayor Andy Street, supported by the local enterprise partnerships and agreed with Government.

This strategy sets out how, in partnership with west midlands local leaders, we will work to deliver on a range of commitments including:

delivering on our future of mobility grand challenge, which aims to be at the forefront of the development of cleaner, safer, easier and more reliable future modes of transport, cementing the west midlands’ position as the UK’s automotive heartlands;

playing a leading role in the UK’s 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;

driving investment into electric vehicle manufacturing in the region, completing the UK battery industrialisation centre and maximising the impact of the Faraday battery challenge;

putting the west midlands at the heart of transport innovation in the UK by delivering the UK’s first large-scale 5G test bed; and

helping meet the artificial intelligence and data grand challenge by supporting the development of a west midlands translational medicine and med-tech commission to accelerate the “lab to patient” ecosystem.

The west midlands is a global force and a major part of the UK economy, generating £99 billion of GVA—5% of UK output. The region is growing fast, with output up 27% over the past five years. A record number of people are in work and the lowest number are out of work. Productivity is increasing too, at twice the rate of the UK in 2017-18, while carbon emissions have reduced by 18% over the last five years—showing that while we grow our economy we can reduce the impact on our planet.

The west midlands is a region in renaissance. Together, this work sets the long-term future for how the west midlands can fully realise its potential

A copy of the west midlands industrial strategy will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.