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Key Points

The West Midlands as the manufacturing heartland of the UK – 12% of the workforce employed in the industry vs 7% national average

WM as the UK’s automotive capital: over £13.7bn worth of cars and parts exported in 2019 equal to 36% of the entire UK total and double any other region

97,000 people currently employed in the low carbon and environmental goods sector

Low carbon and environmental goods – the fastest growing sector in WM (7% growth in 2019-20) – worth £12bn to the regional economy with 5100 companies

All 6 of the region’s higher education institutions have cutting edge research and innovation in low carbon solutions

WM is home of the UK’s 5G- testbed with a range of discovery projects optimising energy and resources using 5G enabled systems 

The West Midlands already employs a greater concentration of the workforce than many other areas of the UK in several aspects of low carbon – for example:

Coventry & Warwickshire employs 28x the average UK proportion of its workforce in electricity transmission and 11x the average proportion of people in mains gas network operation

The Black Country employs 5.5x the average UK proportion of the workforce in securing recycled materials; and

Birmingham and Solihull employs 5x the average proportion of workers in building management systems and activities 

The West Midlands is leading the green industrial revolution. We are global leaders in three low carbon sectors with unrivalled economic opportunities:

Future Mobility 

We are a leading developer of alternative and greener transport methods, making use of our status as a 5G testbed. We are primed to roll out this new technology being a leading manufacturer of transport equipment (automotive, rail and aerospace)

Smart Energy Systems 

The West Midlands is home to the national Catapult leading thinking on Energy Systems and the Energy Capital partnership putting innovation into practice with partners across five Energy Innovation Zones at the cutting edge of integrated local energy systems and industrial decarbonisation. We are the home of National Grid, EON UK, Co-op Energy and several other energy infrastructure organisations

Energy Storage and Resource Management

The West Midlands hosts the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre at the heart of a cluster of world-leading companies specialising in battery recycling. It also hosts the National Brownfield Institute and leads the way on circular construction techniques

Each sector strength is underpinned by the West Midlands network of academic institutions and R&D consultancies which create an unrivalled innovation ecosystem including the Energy Systems Catapult, the Advanced Propulsion Centre and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.