Greater Birmingham and Solihull has recorded 25% more business start-ups and seen a 4.7% growth in the economy, according to the latest annual report from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) released today (29 June).
The region is now the fastest growing core city LEP area in the country after a strong 12 months which has seen the launch of the LEP’s own Strategic Economic Plan setting out GBSLEP’s vision and strategy for delivering smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive growth until 2030 – creating a ‘Greater Birmingham for a Greater Britain’.
Steve Hollis, Chair of the GBSLEP, said:
This year Birmingham was named the leading English city outside London for quality of life for the fourth year running and we have worked with our partners to deliver a string of major investments and infrastructure projects across the region. This includes the launch of the Curzon Investment Plan and the leveraging of an additional £54.2m from central government through Growth Deal 3.
It has been a fantastic platform on which to launch our Strategic Economic Plan, but of course the hard work doesn’t stop here. Our focus for the next 12 months is to continue our work to turn this vision-led strategy into a reality, by working closely with our partners across the public, private and educational sectors.”
The GBSLEP reports 18,600 private sector jobs have been created in the region in the last 12 months, with 42% of its target to generate 250,000 jobs by 2030 already delivered. The region’s GVA now stands at £44.5billion, up £1.8billon in the last 12 months, while Greater Birmingham and Solihull is also closing the gap with the leading LEP core city as it seeks to deliver the lowest unemployment amongst LEP core cities by 2030.
The annual report also includes a string of case studies, demonstrating the role of the GBSLEP in supporting local businesses to grow over the last 12 months. These include Memrica, an award-winning start-up providing support for people living with a memory problem, which has raised £70,000 of investment through the Wayra business accelerator programme part-funded by the GBSLEP Growth Hub.
Industrial Washing Machines Limited also secured a £20,000 grant from the Business Growth Programme, part-funded by GBSLEP, to facilitate the equipment and resources necessary to improve productivity at their production facility in Kings Norton.
Steve Hollis adds:
Our Strategic Economic Plan, which is underpinned by our industrial strategy, sets three priorities for the region; to become a world leader in innovation and creativity, to take full advantage of our global connections and to create stronger conditions for growth.
By continuing to deliver our objectives, which include increasing productivity and competitiveness, growing private sector investment, business survival and exports, the GBSLEP will deliver smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive growth – for the benefit of our region and for the UK as a whole.”
The LEP’s Implementation Plan will also be published later this year, outlining how the LEP will work with its partners to deliver inclusive growth across our economy.