Jamie Hardesty

Member Article

Javid drives Midlands Engine into America

Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid is in the US and Canada this week leading the first-ever Midlands Engine Trade Mission to show North American businesses how investing in the region could put them in the fast lane for growth.

The government says it is determined to strengthen Britain’s relationships with countries around the world to help businesses in the Midlands, and across the country, to flourish.

What is the Midlands Engine?

The government has strong ambitions to make the Midlands an Engine for Growth in the UK, to add an extra £34 billion to the region’s economy by 2030 and create 300,000 extra jobs.

Already under this government the Midlands has been growing faster than the UK average outside London – but we want to go even further.

Plans for the Midlands include:

  • a £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund to provide investment through Access to Finance for small and medium-sized enterprises
  • the development of a £60 million Energy Research Accelerator at the University of Nottingham, as well as £2.6 million investment in the Technology Entrepreneurship Centre
  • £300 million investment in a High Value Manufacturing Catapult and £45 million for a new Energy Systems Catapult in Birmingham, to attract the most innovative businesses to the region
  • £14 million for a new creative innovation centre at Digbeth, the Birmingham STEAMhouse
  • multi-million pound investment to ensure the Midlands makes the most of the new High Speed 2 rail links, at Birmingham and at Toton in the East Midlands.

Javid in American drive

Sajid Javid is leading the UK’s first ever Midlands Engine Trade Mission to Chicago and Toronto.

During his tour he will also meet with representatives from United Airlines, the Walgreens Boots Alliance and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board amongst others.

Mr Javid has brought some of the region’s top business executives and is showcasing the Midlands Engine to an international audience to make sure that the cities of the Midlands become the go-to destination for foreign investment.

The Midlands has a strong track record of doing business with North America – between 2010 and 2015 exports from the Midlands to the US rose by 55% and, exports from the Midlands to Canada rose by more than 11%.

Sajid Javid said: “For the first time ever we are bringing the Midlands Engine to the world stage.

“These aren’t just warm words – over the next 15 years, we plan to generate an additional £34 billion for the Midlands economy.

“And with exports from the Midlands to both the US and Canada up significantly over the past five years, we have a strong record to build on.”

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