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Rebuilding the West Midlands - The WMCA Representation to the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020


The West Midlands is a region that has bounced back from adversity many times before. We have been particularly badly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but we will seize the opportunities that come from our recovery. We will invest in new markets, upskill our workforce, protect our environment, tackle inequalities in our communities, support young people and reposition the region as a leader in the national economy.

In order to deliver for our region and the young, diverse population we serve, we are asking the Government to invest in the region’s transport and housing; skills and economy; public services; and regional and local government.

The region has experienced decades of underinvestment by central government. Now is an opportunity to redress the balance and help level up the West Midlands.

Our ‘Recharge the West Midlands’ economic recovery plan from July 2020 set out a £3.2 billion package to create or safeguard 135,800 jobs for our residents, support 154,400 young people and workers, and build 35,000 new homes. We welcome this Government’s early support for this plan, but our latest proposals build on them further including:

  • A fully coordinated £1.5 billion business growth programme across the West Midlands to improve productivity, business survival, leadership and innovation.
  • A £732 million package joining up all training, skills and employment interventions to help people back into work and equip young people with the skills for future jobs.
  • A £369 million plan to boost the West Midlands’ cultural offer to attract inward investors and retain skilled talent.
  • Our proposals include a single pot funding approach for infrastructure investment. The WMCA has a strong record of delivering transport, business and domestic infrastructure – doubling the number
  • of homes built annually since 2010 and rapidly expanding our bus, metro, cycling and rail network.

We have set out proposals to go further and faster, with a £2.4 billion rolling, five-year single infrastructure package. This covers £1.5 billion of transport investment; £600 million of housing, energy, and digital interventions; approximately £300 million to bring forward the ambitious development plans around the HS2 interchange station by 4-5 years, creating 16,000 jobs; and a £400m Affordable Housing Fund including a bold, new ‘Homes for Covid Heroes’ key worker programme.

Covid-19 has exacerbated many of the inequalities across our region. Recovery from the pandemic will require us to rethink how we live, work and deliver public services for the good of all communities and the environment. Our proposals include:

  • Tackling homelessness, building on the success of ‘Everyone In’.
  • Reducing regional health inequalities by investing in prevention and innovation.
  • Supporting children in court-ordered care and custody, through a regional Safe Centre.
  • Decarbonising our industrial base is at the centre of our vision for economic recovery, including support for a Gigafactory.
  • This is the Government’s opportunity to support an underinvested region to rebuild and recover stronger and better than ever.