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Investors invited to get a slice of £85 billion West Midlands economy

Investors invited to get a slice of £85 billion West Midlands economy

🕔11.May 2016

The West Midlands Combined Authority will showcase multi-million pound investment opportunities across the region at its first major event after being formed.

The event will bring together central and local government representatives with colleagues from the private sector and offer them the opportunity to discuss and debate key issues around growing the region’s economy.

West Midlands Forum for Growth on June 28 is a one-day event at the Vox Conference Centre within Resorts World Birmingham at the National Exhibition Centre.

Speakers include Waheed Nazir, interim strategic director of economy at Birmingham city council, Paul Kehoe, chief executive at Birmingham Airport, and Chris Darroch, director at Hermes Fund Managers.

WMCA, consisting of the seven West Midlands metropolitan councils and a number of shire district councils in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire, will become a legal entity at the beginning of next month and assume strategic control of transport, economic development and skills.

In 2017, the combined authority will be boosted by the election of a metro mayor who will chair the WMCA cabinet and inherit a range of executive powers.

With an economy worth £85 billion of GVA and with growth running at a four per cent a year, the WMCA region boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the UK outside London.

The message to delegates at the Forum for Growth will be that the combined authority offers enormous potential to grow the UK economy and work alongside investors, developers and the construction industry, with the opportunity to unlock a projected £8 billion worth of investment.

Also featured on the programme are Martin Reeves, WMCA Chief Executive; Laura Shoaf, Strategic Director for Transport at West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority; Mike Best, Executive Director at Turley; Ian Stringer, Regional Senior Director of Bilfinger GVA; and Professor Cliff Allan, Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University.

The event will showcase the ambition and vision for the WMCA and will cover infrastructure, HS2 and the interconnected transport network, industry, regeneration, skills, place making and house building.

Cllr Bob Sleigh, Chair of the WMCA’s Shadow Board, said:

The creation of the West Midlands Combined Authority provides us with a unique opportunity to take control of our own destiny and transform the region’s economy through a robust, focused and ambitious programme of change.

From the outset we’ve said that we can only achieve change by working with a range of partners from co-design to delivery.  So I am delighted that our launch event next month will bring together major players and organisations from different sectors, who will have the chance to not only listen to our plans but also get involved with us moving forward.

The forum is being organised by Movers & Shakers, in partnership with the WMCA and UKTI, and in association with Bilfinger GVA.

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