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West Midlands Plan for Growth

Levers of Growth

Government’s Levelling-Up White Paper champions ‘Medici-style growth’ where complex systems are made coherent to level-up the UK. We can apply those principles to the West Midlands Plan for Growth where the key is tying together:

It is only the private sector that can deliver our growth ambition. But we know that growth can be greater, faster and more inclusive where public leaders work to set the conditions for prosperity. A Medici-style West Midlands Plan for Growth means there will be no separate implementation plan. Instead, mainstream delivery programmes and policies of the WMCA and partners will be flexed and targeted as appropriate to boost growth in the clusters and unlock additional business investment. The region has two ways to ensure it stays on track:

• Strong business-led cluster leadership: Private-public partnership requires strong cluster leadership, with business saying clearly and credibly how overcoming barriers unlocks further private investment. We know there is no one-size-fits- all approach to cluster leadership, so the region will work with specialist business organisations across the West Midlands and beyond so there is a clear and constructive two-way dialogue to drive inclusive growth.

Clear, well-targeted answers to boost private sector investment and cluster growth.

Empowered and accountable decision-making, including the private sector.

Suitable resources.

Our West Midlands Plan for Growth gives a focus to bring together public, private and university partners who are best placed to use local knowledge to efficiently allocate resources and overcome barriers. The White Paper also strengthens the leadership role of Combined Authorities by integrating LEP functions and the mandate for regional economic development within Mayoral Combined Authorities. Together, we already made important strides such as establishing a new West Midlands Economic Growth Board to provide clear and democratically- accountable leadership for this agenda, working alongside business and civic leaders to deliver green, inclusive growth. This is already providing new impetus and leadership, for example, by overseeing a new, simplified and strategic approach to business support and growth – reflecting the WMCA’s leadership on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

By taking steps to build a more cohesive system, the West Midlands has a more powerful case for further powers and resources which will address the clear economic challenges set out in the Plan for Growth. The most notable form is the Trailblazing Devolution Deal where the region is seeking a new relationship with government, with much more alignment and influence over funding streams and programmes to support business growth, greater long-term influence and additional funding to support our growth clusters.

The Plan for Growth will therefore drive greater integration across six critical and cross-cutting interventions in ways that will deliver more targeted support and secure long-term business growth.