Events - 26 January 2016

Midlands Engine and Devolution tackled at Insider Media business event

A business panel event this morning (Tuesday January 26) on the potential benefits the ‘Midlands Engine’ – launched last month (see main picture) – and Devolution will bring to the region heard from D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chief Executive, David Ralph.

The event, organised by Midlands Business Insider magazine and held at the Bilfinger GVA property management company’s Birmingham office, saw an hour-long discussion on how the Midlands Engine will develop.

The Midlands Engine initiative – launched in December 2015 (see main picture) at the University of Birmingham, by Business Secretary Sajid Javid – will see the region’s 11 LEPs, its local authorities, Universities, Government and others working on a combined strategy to improve the Midlands on economic development, transport links, skills and training, innovation and in other ways.

Questions tackled during the wide-ranging discussion included how the Midlands Engine brand and activities will be developed and the potential economic impact of changes. It’s estimated that Midlands Engine activities will create 300,000 jobs and boost the national economy by £34billion over the next 15 years, if the region matches the UK’s predicted growth rate.

The discussion will be covered on the magazine’s daily digital newsletter, which has 32,000 subscribers, and on its website and social media channels; to update the wider business community on the Midlands Engine progress and potential future challenges. See website www.insidermedia.com/midlands

Those on the discussion panel included Mr Ralph, fellow members of the Midlands Engine’s Senior Steering and Operational Groups, and business representatives, including:

  • Corin Crane, Director of Leicester and Leicestershire LEP
  • Dr Richard Hutchins, Board Member for Coventry and Warwickshire LEP
  • Mike Carr, Programme Director of Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP
  • Mark Stansfeld, Chair of Worcestershire LEP
  • Professor Simon Collinson, Dean of Birmingham Business School
  • Molly McKenzie, Regional Director at the Institution of Civil Engineers
  • Stephen Hollowood, Senior Director for Planning, Development and Regeneration at Bilfinger GVA
  • Carl Potter, Senior Director at Bilfinger GVA
  • Kate Hughes, Partnerships Director at the University of Warwick
  • David Pugh, Associate Director at Amey.

Commenting on this morning’s panel discussion event, Mr Ralph said:

“Working across the whole Midlands will help focus attention on the key challenges and opportunities set out in the Midlands prospectus. By bringing a range of partners together in this way, it not only allows us highlight some of the critical thinking that is going on, but also hear arrange of different business voices who will have views on where we should prioritise.”

An online copy of the Midlands Engine Prospectus can be found at the web link HERE (www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/482247/midlands-engine-for-growth.pdf).

For more information on D2N2’s work with the Midlands Engine and on the North Midlands Devolution Deal (for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire) see the D2N2 LEP website at www.d2n2lep.org

Media wanting further information about the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership can contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org

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