Mr Richardson was speaking at Rushcliffe Borough Council’s 2016 ‘Big Business Event’ on Friday afternoon (March 11), held at the offices of agricultural equipment provider John Deere UK in Langar. His fellow speakers were the Rushcliffe MP Kenneth Clarke and Newark MP Robert Jenrick.
Business invitees to the event included Asda, Bingham Business Club, the British Geological Survey, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Morrisons, Radcliffe-on-Trent Business Club, the University of Nottingham and Vision Express.
Mr Richardson gave an overview of the Midlands Engine and explained its ambitions to grow the economy. D2N2 – the private sector-led Local Enterprise Partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary groups working to promote economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – is a partner in the Midlands Engine.
The Midlands Engine Prospectus was officially launched by Business Secretary Sajid Javid MP (the event is pictured above), in December (2015). The partnership of Midlands’ businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers, universities, 11 local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), community and voluntary groups, and others is promoting greater collaboration, to grow the economy. By 2030 the initiative aims to create 300,000 extra Midlands jobs and add £34billion to the UK economy.
A Midlands Engine (ME) interim Board and Delivery Director are already in place, and work underway to promote investment in the region and develop a ‘business bank’ for the area. Mr Javid is set to lead an ME trade mission, featuring up to 50 representatives of Midlands’ businesses, to the USA and Canada next month (April).
At the event, Mr Richardson explained how the ME was building on the region’s strengths – including its being home to world leading companies particularly in manufacturing and engineering; such as Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bombardier, JCB and Toyota UK – and focusing on five key themes of
- promoting the ‘Engine’ area
- and finance for business
The ME initiative includes key aspects such as ‘Midlands Connect’, developing a strategy for better and more integrated road, rail and air transport networks; research, including the Energy Research Accelerator project by Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Warwick universities and the British Geological Survey; and an employer-led approach to developing skills which fills the ‘skills gaps’ of companies, particularly of the manufacturing and engineering sectors.
Following Friday’s event, Mr Richardson said: “The Midlands Engine for Growth is a relatively new concept and it’s important that its backers, such as the D2N2 LEP, take every opportunity to spread the word about the significant benefits we believe it will bring.
“This initiative also goes hand-in-glove with our push for a North Midlands Devolution Deal, which would give the D2N2 area devolved powers from central Government, to better determine its own economic destiny.
“The audience at the event were clearly engaged by what they heard.”
Further information about the North Midlands Devolution Deal can be found on website www.northmidlands.org.uk
Media wanting further information about the D2N2 LEP can contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: email@example.com