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Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country unite in spirit of ‘collaboration’ at MIPIM

Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country unite in spirit of ‘collaboration’ at MIPIM

🕔26.Feb 2015

Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country councils may not be ready yet to join forces in a combined authority, but they are working solidly together to promote the West Midlands to inward investors, reports Paul Dale.

While talks about forming a combined authority are certain to drag on until after the General Election in an attempt to persuade Conservative Solihull to jump into bed with Labour Birmingham and the Black Country, the councils are happy to boast about their “collaboration” at next month’s MIPIM property trade show in Cannes.

Even Coventry council, another combined authority wobbler, will throw its lot in with Greater Birmingham and the Black Country in an effort to sell the delights of Midland investment zones.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

Collaboration is at the heart of Greater Birmingham’s transformation into one of the top international business destinations.

By joining forces with our partners in Solihull and the Black Country – together with a host of private sector organisations – we will be demonstrating to MIPIM delegates that we have the momentum and ambition to remain the country’s strongest region for inward investment.

From the opportunities on offer at Birmingham’s huge Southern Gateway development to the major regeneration of the city’s retail core, our events programme at this year’s MIPIM will bring together a number of prominent speakers to showcase the unprecedented scale of investment taking place in the region.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP’s programme at MIPIM from March 10 to 13 comprises 11 events and 25 speakers and will focus on the opportunities presented by flagship schemes, including the Black Country Enterprise Zone and UK Central in Solihull.

Covering 120 hectares at the heart of the West Midlands’ advanced manufacturing and distribution networks, the Black Country Enterprise Zone has already attracted investment in excess of £1.5 billion from global names including Jaguar Land Rover and Moog.

Together with the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, it has attracted over a quarter – a total of 3,200 – of the 12,530 jobs created since 2012 by the Government’s 24 enterprise zones based nationwide.

At MIPIM, speakers including Andy Street, chair of GBSLEP; Tom Westley, Black Country LEP lead for the Enterprise Zone; and Rob Groves, Senior Project Director at property developer Argent, will highlight the impact of the West Midlands’ Enterprise Zones on the UK economy, as well as plans to accelerate their growth. Tom Westley said:

The Black Country has a unique history of driving innovation forward, we are leading the way through world-class manufacturing and engineering and are seeing record levels of private sector investment.

The Black Country Enterprise Zone has seen unprecedented growth through a public and private sector partnership approach and we want to talk to potential investors about how they can be part of this success.

UK Central takes in land around the M42 Corridor, Birmingham Airport and the NEC. It is being marketed as one of the largest schemes in Europe, combining business, transport and entertainment assets with the area’s reputation as one of the most attractive places to live in the country.

Speakers at Greater Birmingham’s UK Central event include Councillor Ian Courts, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Land at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council; Nick Page, Chief Executive at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council; Andy Street; and Steven Myers, Managing Director of Development at Genting. Councillor Courts said:

UK Central offers an outstanding combination of opportunity, connectivity and lifestyle attracting growing interest from global investors and this year will see major milestones in its development – the opening of Resorts World Birmingham, the launch of the new Jaguar XE following Jaguar Land Rover’s £1.5bn investment in Europe’s largest aluminium bodyshop and Rolls Royce opening the new HQ, design and technology facility for its Controls and Data Services subsidiary on Birmingham Business Park.

We will be sharing key elements of our emerging masterplan for the HS2 Interchange site linked to Birmingham Airport at MIPIM, as well as highlighting the major opportunities for investors over the next 10 years.

The Greater Birmingham team will also join forces with Greater London and Coventry at two events promoting the benefits of the new HS2 high speed rail network to the UK’s economic prosperity and connectivity. Speakers include Sir Michael Bear, Chairman of the UKTI’s Regeneration Investment Organisation.

For more details on Greater Birmingham’s event programme at MIPIM 2015, visit

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