Local businesses and residents in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) area have benefitted from over £182 million in Local Growth Fund (LGF) investment by the LEP since 2014, creating 5764 new jobs and unlocking 1379 homes. The funding has been delivered through GBSLEP’s Growth Programme, which supports a pipeline of exciting and strategically important investments that have a positive impact on the economy and the lives of residents.
The investment has been used to; boost innovation and productivity; deliver connectivity improvements; increase skill levels; develop vibrant towns and local centres; and harness the potential of the cultural and creative assets across the region.
New milestones in investment from the LGF come at the same time as positive news around the region’s GVA growth, which saw an increase of 4.9% across the GBSLEP area in 2018, rising to £54.8 billion. Recently released by the Office for National Statistics, the GBSLEP geography has recorded total GVA of £12.8 billion since 2010, further cementing its position as a leading driver of the UK economy.
Projects that have received funding support include key growth sectors such as low carbon and energy technologies, life sciences, manufacturing and creative and digital sectors, all of which are crucial drivers for the region’s ongoing prosperity.
Developing a successful low carbon economy as part of the global fight against climate change is key area of focus; as such the LEP has invested £84.4m in in low carbon related projects. £1.58 million of which was committed to the delivery of a low- and zero-emission refuelling hub and supporting infrastructure at Tyseley Energy Park, which is driving forward green technologies in industry.
The second phase of Birmingham Cycle Revolution received a £6 million contribution to support the 20-year strategy of making the city more accessible for cyclists and encouraging greater uptake of cycling as a primary form of transportation.
£14.97 million was invested in skills-based projects including the Hybrid Vehicle Training Centre at Solihull College & University Centre, the West Midlands Safari Parks’ purpose-built education centre, the Safari Academy, and the ground-breaking Prince’s Trust Youth Skills & Enterprise Hub. The Hub provides facilities to upskill and support unemployed young people, with 225 individuals expected to launch their own business-start up in the next three years, and a further 700 finding employment in existing organisations.
In the manufacturing sector, £1.6 million was invested in Changan Automotive’s new test centre, which will regenerate one of the oldest parts of Birmingham Business Park into a state-of-the-art automotive Research & Development centre, and create around 140 new, highly skilled jobs.
There are huge opportunities for the region arising from technological advances across all sectors. To support growth in the life sciences sector and help realise the full potential of the region as a test bed location for health innovations, GBSLEP has invested in assets such as the Birmingham Life Sciences Park.
Tim Pile, Chair of GBSLEP, said:
We are immensely proud of the contribution we have made to the vibrant economic renaissance being experienced by our region. The success is about far more than GBSLEP, it’s down to the hard work and effectiveness of our many partners and the wider business community. The LEP has played its part through our unique collaboration of private, public and academic sectors.
“We’ve been very successful over the last few years and have seen some terrific achievements. Our single-minded focus on improving the economy, supporting our key sectors to grow, and enabling local people to access the new jobs that are created is delivering real impact. But there is still much to be done to ensure that everyone benefits from this economic growth. We have an exciting pipeline of important projects and I am looking forward to seeing those initiatives flourish over the coming years, further driving our economy forward.”
Notes to editors
About the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP)
GBSLEP is a partnership of business, public sector and further and higher education. Its mission is to drive sustainable economic growth across the city-region, creating jobs and improving the quality of life for everyone.
The GBSLEP area spans nine local authority areas: Birmingham, Solihull, East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest. It is home to over two million people, an estimated 1,038,000 jobs, and an economy worth £46.8bn.
Since 2010, the government has awarded GBSLEP £433 million to invest in a range of projects to grow the local economy. These include transport infrastructure, skills development, business support, innovation, and cultural and creative assets. GBSLEP is on course to secure more than £300 million of additional public and private investments, which will create a further 29,000 jobs and 7,000 new homes.
Since 2010, more than 162,000 new private sector jobs have been created across Greater Birmingham and Solihull. Last year, the area generated a 2.9% increase in economic growth – making it the fastest growing core city LEP in area in the country. More than 7,000 businesses have been supported by the GBSLEP Growth Hub in the past two years.
For more information about GBSLEP, please visit the website, subscribe to its newsletter or follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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