A BLUEPRINT of what is needed to level up the region was launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.
The ‘Levelling Up Growth Prospectus’ aims to boost the regional economy by creating a new, green industrial revolution while attracting major private sector investment.
On the panel at the WMCA fringe event were Laura Shoaf, WMCA chief executive, Cllr Ian Courts WMCA portfolio lead for Environment, Energy & HS2 and leader of Solihull Council, Nadhim Zahawi, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA and Raaj Shamji – senior development manager, Birmingham City University
The Prospectus calls for greater powers and more flexibility over funding and investment so the region can build sustainable and affordable homes at scale and pace, deliver the transport and digital connections that businesses and communities need to prosper and thrive and provide additional support for high growth West Midlands sectors such as green energy, electric car manufacture and low carbon, modular homes.
The blueprint was showcased at the WMCA fringe event A Trailblazer for devolution – how the West Midlands is delivering on Levelling Up, sits alongside and supports the WMCA’s recently launched Plan for Growth.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Levelling Up remains mission critical for our region and indeed the whole country.
“As we seek to supercharge our economic recovery, we must embrace the coming green industrial revolution and draw in private sector investment in order to bounce back.
“We have already made great strides here in the West Midlands – developing our public transport system, upskilling local residents, building thousands of new homes and unlocking hundreds of acres of derelict industrial land for development.
“But to build on this progress, we need the Government to give us the tools to go further and faster.
“This Prospectus sets out what we need to tackle the challenges we face in the weeks, months and years ahead.
“As the Prime Minister said, ‘When the West Midlands succeeds, the country succeeds’ so I urge the Government to back us all the way.”