Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) said:
We welcome the announcements in today’s Budget and the support the Chancellor has shown for key priorities of the GBSLEP, the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Midlands Engine.
The announcement of the £250million investment fund for the Midlands Engine reflects the confidence the government has in the Midlands to come together to deliver jobs, homes and investment opportunities. It also demonstrates the added value of the east and west of the region working collaboratively to drive economic growth.
The need to strengthen the skills base around Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) of the GBSLEP area is at the heart of the our Strategy for Growth. STEAMHouse is one of the key projects which will help achieve this and so the announcement of £14m in the Budget to help support its establishment by Birmingham City University is hugely welcomed. STEAMhouse will be located within Birmingham’s knowledge quarter. The Chancellor’s reference to the potential of this area within the city and Government’s desire to work with us to maximise it underlines how significant a prospect it is.
Alongside investment in skills, the GBSLEP is committed to supporting local people into work. The extension of funding for the ‘100 Work Coaches’ programme which has already supported 12,000 people is extremely welcome and demonstrates a strong partnership between the GBSLEP and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Building on the success of the redevelopment of New Street station, regenerating the Snowhill station area of Birmingham is one of the next big opportunities for the city and has the potential to create 10,000 jobs. We are pleased the Chancellor has recognised this by allocating £2million for masterplanning the area. This investment comes on the back of a very exciting announcement of the largest ever speculative city centre office scheme built outside London by M&G Real Estate for Three Snowhill.
We are pleased that the Chancellor has continued to support our ambitions, despite a challenging economic backdrop. Taken with other local and national investments in the area and the prospect of future allocations of Local Growth Fund, they will support our position as a world renowned region for investment and growth.”