MORE than £805m of funding was set out in the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Budget aimed at bolstering the regional economy.
Projects include new railway services and stations, Coventry All Electric Bus City project and other zero emission buses for the region.
The Capital Budget also includes £242m to deliver the second year of the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement, with funding for both WMCA and local councils to deliver priority transport interventions including highway maintenance, very light rail and the Metro depot.
Andy Street Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “It’s no secret that the UK is experiencing tough times at the moment and the WMCA is not immune to these challenges. That’s why we’re taking suitably prudent steps when it comes to our finances as we look ahead to 2023/2024.
“Once again, there will be no mayoral precept which means local residents will not bear any additional tax burden – something I hope will be welcomed given the society wide cost of living pressures we’re currently facing.
“Far from being a reason to press pause, this daunting backdrop is precisely why we must seize the moment and double down on the transformative investments that will improve the quality of life for local people right across our region in the months and years ahead.”
Coun Bob Sleigh, deputy mayor and WMCA portfolio holder for finance, said: “Despite the difficult global situation right now with high inflation, supply chain issues and other cost-of-living pressures, I’m pleased we have been able to protect services yet again and put forward a balanced budget even though that has meant using a large amount of our reserves.
“There are clearly financial challenges ahead but this Budget sets out to support our Plan for Growth and get our economy back on track. It also looks to provide the help local people need to get through these challenging times by focusing funding on the things that really matter to them like effective transport, good quality and affordable homes, decent jobs and the fight against climate change.”