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West Midlands Levelling Up Growth Prospectus

Local Focus: Coventry & Warwickshire

The Challenge 

Coventry and the neighbouring county of Warwickshire form a single functional economic geography which was the fastest growing local economy in England between 2008 and 2017. Coventry and Warwickshire also share a single Integrated Health and Care System. Since 2017, there has been slowing economic growth, exacerbated by the pandemic and subsequent global supply chain disruption, along with challenges associated with inflation and price increases. 

Despite these challenges, Coventry and Warwickshire has been the focus of national attention — not only has it held numerous international sports events, but Coventry’s status as the UK City of Culture has catapulted the area into the national conversation. 

Levelling up across Coventry and Warwickshire is about seizing the moment and capitalising on these opportunities, reducing inequalities and ensuring all residents across the patch can benefit from exciting new growth and investment. Whilst this plan focuses on the Metropolitan Areas, we will seek to work with other devolution deals which will enhance this economic area. 

The Prize 

Levelling up Coventry and Warwickshire will mean that we can create good quality jobs for local people, as well as giving them pride in place. By upskilling local people, Coventry has the potential to be at the forefront of the UK’s sustained economic recovery from the combined impact of events in the last few years, notably through building on the city’s longstanding legacy of innovation through smart mobility, culture and creativity, and modern services. We’re proposing a significant programme of activity over the coming years to ensure these outcomes are achieved. 

Coventry City Council’s One Coventry Plan 2022 - 2030 sets out an ambitious approach to public service delivery and reform. The lives of all those who live, work or study in the city will be improved by continuing to work with residents, communities, and partners to understand where the biggest positive difference can be made, and how this can be achieved together. 

In Warwickshire, the six Councils each have ambitious plans for growth, underpinned by a countywide approach to levelling up in Warwickshire, which focuses on social mobility, inequality, sustainable futures and community power. 

The One Coventry vision aims to deliver services from and with communities, empowering residents to shape local public services. Economic and skills growth coupled with community engagement will create a civic society environment focused on delivering the needs of residents, students, and the local workforce. 

Progress So Far… 

Coventry has already made significant strides towards addressing local levelling up challenges. It works in partnership with Warwickshire and other partners to ensure aligned benefits for those that move in and out of the City to neighbouring areas for work, and joined-up approaches to issues including economic growth and health and social care. 

Key examples in Coventry include: 

  • The Coventry Job Shop and partners across the City successfully connects communities to local businesses — employers get the right people to be successful and grow, and residents are supported into the best opportunities; 
  • This includes residents furthest from the labour market and the most vulnerable; 
  • Coventry’s Education Partnership has contributed towards transforming outcomes for children and young people, with 93% of primary children attending good or outstanding schools; 
  • The city has also been selected as an Education Investment Area; 
  • Developments at Friargate and City Centre South have been agreed and will create new job opportunities and new homes, as well as new hotel and retail and leisure space; 
  • Coventry is at forefront of pioneering new green transport concepts such as being the UK’s first All-Electric Bus city, the development of a new Very Light Rail system and hosting the world’s first Urban Airport trial; 
  • Coventry’s Children’s Service have recently received recognition for the transformation following an Ofsted inspection, achieving a rating of Good; 
  • The introduction of joint health and social care provision is leading to improved operating practices for staff; 
  • These include the introduction of the Integrated Care Record and the development of Population Health Management (PHM); 
  • We’ve developed two bids to the Levelling Up Fund to regenerate two of the city’s most deprived areas, Foleshill and Hillfields. The City Centre Cultural Gateway Levelling Up Fund bid will be the next step for enhancing the city’s cultural assets, as well as supporting the growth of the creative economy to realise the City of Culture Legacy. 

Our Proposal 

The Trailblazer Devolution Deal proposals will be delivered in alignment and close collaboration with partners in Warwickshire and beyond, in recognition of the interconnected nature of our economies and health and social care systems: 

  • Going further and faster on housing will support Coventry to unlock brownfield sites for development and regenerate key sites such as Spon End. 
  • This will be reinforced by the Net Zero proposals, which will provide funding and flexibility to retrofit homes, with locally tailored skills support further strengthening the local market. 
  • The proposed transport sandbox will see us take a leading role in bringing forward and rolling out homegrown transport technology. 
  • This will be bolstered by new approaches to increase R&D funding, focusing on key sites such as Silicon Spa, WMG along with the universities of Coventry and Warwick. 
  • It’s also crucial to sustain and enhance the area’s first-class business support ecosystem to help businesses grow across a number of sectors. 
  • Progressing the Gigafactory within the South Coventry - Warwick Innovation Corridor would be one of the most important catalysts for modernising and growing the UK automotive supply chain.