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West Midlands Plan for Growth

Cluster Growth Profiles

Cluster: Manufacturing of electrical light vehicles and associated battery storage devices

Additional growth opportunity: a further £850m – £950m of output and 11,200 to 12,400 jobs by matching the growth trajectory of the leading UK region for similar clusters.


  • Supporting transition of manufacturing capacity and associated supply chain from internal combustion to electric vehicle (EV) volume production.

  • Batteries make up c40% of the cost of a new EV car and to keep this value within the region a large Gigafactory battery manufacturing facility is required. Gigafactories are still uncommon in the UK and Europe but require significant public investment.

  • The battery lifecycle and environmental considerations means new opportunities in end- to-end battery management, including recycling.


• Sandwell
• Walsall
• Solihull
• Birmingham

• Stratford

• Coventry


  • National bodies like SMMT

  • West Midlands Automation WMG Electrification Task Force


  • Established OEM and automotive supply chains

  • National assets based in the West Midlands - UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and Advanced Propulsion Centre.

  • Translational expertise in WMG and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

  • Expertise in associated chemicals / battery processing and recycling across West Midlands universities.

  • Future British Volt facility at Hams Hall


  • Support Gigafactory investment. West Midlands Gigafactory at Coventry Airport has received planning permission with focus now on securing investment from a developer.

  • Support supply chain transition to electric vehicles.

  • Accelerate EV charging and recycling infrastructure.

  • Exploit role of Plug and Play UK: Future Mobility in its ability to attract global start-ups to grow in the West Midlands and support EV supply chains.


  • Develop future skills pathway

  • Location coordination

  • Direct competitive funding

Cluster: Health-tech and med-tech

Additional growth opportunity: a further £400m to £430m of output and 5,300 to 5,900 jobs by matching the growth trajectory of the leading UK region for similar clusters.

  • Major increase in public and private R&D outside Greater South East as part of Government’s commitment to the 2.4% target.

  • Government commitment to invest in diagnostics and early intervention hubs.

  • Medical technologies being embedded into variety of lifestyle devices.

  • International trade deals open up new markets and regulatory freedoms.

• Birmingham
• East Staffordshire

• Rugby

  • Business leadership from bodies like Medilink Midlands, West Midlands Health Tech Cluster Body and national Association of Health-Tech Businesses.
  • University and hospital networks like Midlands Innovation Health, Birmingham Health Partners and the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network.

  • West Midlands is home to several large medical research facilities and the Centre for Translational Medicine with a large and diverse population.

  • The West Midlands’ engineering and materials expertise is directly relevant to the development and manufacture of medical devices.

  • The region’s universities produce 11,000 medical science graduates each year, plus allied higher-level skills in engineering and data.

  • Private and public investment into world-class facilities, such as the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus and Rosalind Franklin Laboratory in Leamington.

  • Boost inward investment from the data-driven health strand of the Business and Tourism Programme, linked to the Department for International Trade’s Life Sciences Opportunity Zone status for the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus.

  • Work in conjunction with universities and institutional investors to ensure spinouts receive the early growth funding and commercial leadership they need to scale and compete internationally.

  • Proactively ensure that business has the sites and utilities they need to scale research and manufacturing facilities right across the region.

  • Develop future skills pathway
  • Location coordination and FDI

  • Early growth fund

  • Land assembly and infrastructure fund

Cluster: Aerospace (including manufacturing alternative fuels)

Additional growth opportunity: a further £80m – £90m of output and 900 – 1,000 jobs by 2030 by beating the average growth profile for UK for similar clusters.

  • Major market disruption in pursuit of net zero and embedding new technology. West Midlands has expertise in related industries (e.g. metals and materials).

  • Military aerospace accounts for 20% of the West Midlands aerospace market, compared to 50% across the UK. Though the military market is smaller, and the civil market is forecast to experience higher growth in the long term, the military sector is also associated with higher R&D, which brings high GVA jobs to the region.

  • Opportunity for lower-tier specialist aerospace suppliers to pivot technologies into new industries.


• Wolverhampton
• Dudley
• Nuneaton & Bedworth


• Business leadership provided by the Midlands Aerospace Alliance


  • Connections with OEMs located nearby, plus large passenger (Birmingham) and freight (East Midlands) airports nearby.

  • Strengths in dependent industries such as metals and materials, propulsion technology.

  • Strong business leadership via the Midlands Aerospace Alliance.

  • Good critical mass of skilled workers in advanced engineering.


  • Support cross-sector R&D and support to SME suppliers with abilities to diversify into (and out of) aerospace supply chains.

  • Step up strategic relationship management with foreign-owned aerospace firms.

  • Invest in advanced engineering and digital skills to help workers progress to higher-skilled roles and increase resilience of the cluster.


  • Develop future skills pathway

  • Direct competitive funding, including stimulating cross-sector R&D and innovation and helping SMEs pivot across aerospace and other industries.

  • Location coordination and FDI

Cluster: Logistics and distribution

Additional growth opportunity: a further £280m – £290m of output and 5,500 to 6,000 jobs by accelerating the already high growth prospects by additional 1% per annum.

  • Market growth and disruption following pandemic boom in ecommerce and new consumer behaviours.

  • Net zero and clean air commitments reimagines new forms of local distribution.

  • Trade frictions with EU asks new questions of logistics firms.

  • West Midlands can specifically increase market share and productive capacity by providing high quality infrastructure, improving connectivity and raising the productivity of the existing workforce.

  • Walsall

  • Cannock Chase

  • Tamworth

  • Solihull

  • Rugby

  • North Warwickshire


• West Midlands partners working alongside national trade bodies including Logistics UK and Road Haulage Association


  • UK’s manufacturing heartland provides strong demand for logistics and distribution.

  • Geographical position and transport connectivity (including road and rail) for freight, with links to East Midlands Airport and seaports around UK.

  • UK HQs of major logistics firms sited in region.

  • Coventry’s trial of a first urban drone airport.

  • Strong tech and service economy helps use distribution capacity in a smarter way.

  • Collaborate with industry and training providers to increase supply of skills, including HGV drivers.

  • Improve region’s rail and road infrastructure including the Smart City Region Programme, to make networks more reliable and efficient.

  • Commercial development of brownfield land in West Midlands Investment Prospectus creates new logistics and distribution facilities with greater technology and higher-level skills.


  • Develop future skills pathway

  • Transport and infrastructure

  • Land assembly and infrastructure fund

Cluster: Professional and financial services and supply chain

Additional growth opportunity: a further £580m to £630m output and 8,500 to 9,400 jobs by matching the growth trajectory of the leading UK region for similar clusters.

  • UK has strong global position and service industries subject to fewer trade frictions than goods.

  • West Midlands has large base of professional and financial services firms with opportunity
    to move up the value chain by using strategic relationship management to showcase regional capabilities and help secure higher-value activity.

  • Strengthen connections between industry and academia to develop and apply new digital approaches quickly, sparking growth in nascent clusters like EdTech.


• Birmingham
• Coventry
• Wolverhampton


• West Midlands Growth Company, working in conjunction with SuperTech and trade bodies.


  • Well-connected region provides a sizable labour pool for large professional and financial services businesses.

  • Large and diverse economic base which
    gives professional and financial services firms opportunity to develop offers and services that can be sold abroad.

  • Significant private investment pipeline including major global brands.


  • Deliver £1bn+ transport infrastructure programme to improve connectivity of major city centre concentrations of clusters to maximise pool of workers and provide opportunities in all parts of the region.

  • Capitalise on pipeline of FDI stimulated as a priority in the Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism Programme.

  • Stimulate the whole digital sector by engaging a Tech Commissioner and develop a global network of ambassadors to connect West Midlands’ firms to international opportunities.

  • Deploy West Midlands Co-Invest Fund to help tech scale-ups grow rapidly.


  • Location coordination and FDI

  • Early Growth Fund

  • Transport and infrastructure fund

Cluster: Creative content production and gaming

Additional growth opportunity: a further £55m to £65m of output and 1,100 to 1,500 jobs by matching the growth trajectory of the leading UK region for similar clusters.


  • Growing international markets where UK has a strong, established position.

  • West Midlands now ‘on the map’ for creative industries and can showcase strong brands, rooted in the region.

  • Significant private and public investment in the West Midlands including the BBC investing in its new regional HQ and bringing MasterChef to Birmingham and the £18m Creative Content Hub at The Bond, Digbeth.


• Birmingham

• Warwick


  • Create Central formed in 2019 with wholly business-led Board.

  • Create Central delivered initial creative content cluster growth programme, funded by BFI and WMCA, with positive independent evaluation from BOP.

  • Economic Growth Board supported Create Central’s work to develop a long-term cluster plan during 2022


  • Create Central giving coherent leadership
    with 10yr plan, building on the 3yr cluster development growth plan funded by the British Film Institute.

  • Screen School opened in Wolverhampton and £0.5m specialist skills bootcamp in West Midlands for creative content businesses.

  • Region has boosted its national profile, including hosting national Creative Cities Convention in Birmingham in April and 10 Create Central Champions.

  • First UK region to sign an MoU with the eSports Federation following its debuting at Commonwealth Games.


  • Reap full economic and social impact of the region’s Memorandum of Understanding with the BBC and similar commitments with major content commissioners.

  • Support further public and private investment around the Digbeth Loc project and opportunities with the Digital Catapult on immersive technology.

  • Drive cross-sector R&D collaborations, building on existing PIVOT programmes like the Innovate:Create partnerships between small creative firms with Commonwealth Games and National Express

  • Deploy West Midlands Co-Invest Fund to help IP-rich creative firms grow rapidly.


  • Develop future skills pathway

  • Location coordination

  • Direct competitive funding

  • Early growth fund

Cluster: Manufacturing of future housing

Additional growth opportunity: a further £320m to £220m of output and 3,400 to 3,700 jobs by beating the average growth profile for UK for similar clusters.

  • Net zero priorities, new technologies and supply of traditional trades drive need for new techniques.

  • Technologies established and needs scale in UK, which can relate to the opportunities for large-scale brownfield redevelopment which is particularly concentrated in the Black Country.

  • Significant opportunities for advanced manufacture in construction in retrofit market

• Wolverhampton

• Dudley
• Coventry
• Wyre Forest


  • This business cluster leadership is evolving, bringing together expertise in construction and advanced manufacturing.

  • The WMCA will proactively work with industry leaders to support cluster leadership.


  • Expertise from over £200m of public investment in brownfield development and the Future Homes Standard linked to the region’s Single Commissioning Framework.

  • National Brownfield Institute in Wolverhampton and public and private expertise in land remediation and planning.

  • Engineering and manufacturing skills base that underpins modular housing manufacturing supply chains.


  • Implement and accelerate the regional zero carbon homes route map, including scaling-up the supply of appropriate, viable sites.

  • Locate centre of excellence in West Midlands, allied to intensive skills programmes.

  • Proactively target advanced building manufacturers investing in the region based on existing supply chains.


  • Develop future skills pathway

  • Location coordination

  • Land assembly and infrastructure fund

Cluster: Modern and low carbon utilities

Additional growth opportunity: a further £420m to £470m of output and 4,400 to 4,900 jobs by matching the growth trajectory of the leading UK region for similar clusters.

  • Net zero priorities, consumer behaviour and new technologies disrupting established markets.

  • Energy price spikes changing cost-benefit investment dynamics.

  • Utilities firms have major investment plans over the next decade which prioritise new technologies.

  • Innovation Accelerator to enhance investment, collaboration and innovation across the cluster.


• Warwick

• Coventry

• Sandwell

• Solihull


• Business leadership provided by Energy Capital


  • West Midlands has concentration of energy and utilities firms, along with research assets like the Tyseley Energy Park and academic research base.

  • Manufacturing and engineering capabilities including supply chains for wind, solar PV and biomass in the region.

  • Detailed blueprint for energy security for energy-intensive industry base through Repowering the Black Country project.

  • West Midlands Circular Economy Routemap with case for industrial symbiosis programmes.

  • Secure Trailblazing Devolution Deal agreement with freedoms and resources for local energy system planning to support scale-up of industrial energy networks similar to the Repowering the Black Country model.

  • Secure funding for National Centre for Decarbonisation of Heat, working alongside Tyseley Energy Park.

  • Explore competitive business programmes to re-purpose waste e.g. WMG’s recent initiative to reuse waste carbon from aerospace to turn waste water and sewerage in to hydrogen, or working with industry to trap waste heat to use for municipal heating.

  • Develop skills plan and target funding and investment towards new low carbon skills focused on smart grid technologies, project management, sustainable construction and manufacturing methods and energy data systems.


  • Develop future skills pathway

  • Direct competitive funding

  • Land assembly and infrastructure fund