Tim Pile, Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, reflects on a successful 2017 and outlines his expectations for the New Year.
2017 was a significant year for Greater Birmingham and Solihull. Greater Birmingham has cemented its position as the leading core city region for economic growth. We’ve seen more private sector jobs created, new educational and training centres opened, and greater levels of investment into major infrastructure projects.
“More importantly, we have felt a greater sense of optimism in the region than ever before. Work to transform and revive areas across Greater Birmingham and Solihull is well underway – from the East Staffordshire Growth & Regeneration Programme, to the Enterprise Zone in central Birmingham and at UK Central in Solihull.
“It is fantastic news that Birmingham is to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, further enhancing the city region’s credentials as a truly global player. This announcement demonstrates real international confidence in Greater Birmingham and Solihull. I am certain that the Games will help continue to drive prosperity for both our people and our businesses, providing a platform for trade and acting as a catalyst for growth – exciting times!
“GBSLEP’s key objective is to boost the economic performance of the whole region. Recent data supports our positivity. In 2017, we announced that over 23,000 new private sector jobs were created here during the previous year – a 3.2% rise, compared with the 2.3% average across England. We also recorded 4.7% growth against the UK’s 2.6% average – making it the country’s top core city LEP for economic growth. We saw the area rise up the quality of life indicators, including PwC’s Good Growth for Cities Index 2017 to become the fourth highest core city LEP, up from fifth previously.
“Having been appointed as GBSLEP’s new Chair in the autumn, I am excited to be working with organisations across our city region to further encourage prosperity for the benefit of all of our residents. We will continue to work closely with our many partners and I am determined that the unique attributes of the GBSLEP are truly focused on helping deliver interventions that make a real difference to our economy and are implemented at pace.
“Our region still has many challenges that we must address together but we are moving in the right direction – there is a real determination, a sense of common purpose and in 2018, the GBSLEP will play its role in helping drive economic growth so as to make our region the best place to work and to live.
“I wish you all a peaceful and prosperous New Year and look forward to working with you in 2018.”