Skip to main content

West Midlands Plan for Growth


What is it?

This is necessary because the West Midlands has suffered. A combination of the Covid pandemic, Brexit disruption and supply chain difficulties have had a disproportionate effect on the region because of its industrial base1. The region’s response is to come together and pinpoint those precise clusters and technologies that can shift the West Midlands into the next gear of economic recovery, with benefits felt across the region generating greater consumer confidence and spending.

We believe that looking at clusters (rather than sectors) can help us to better support growth. Clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field. These commercial relationships are the glue which knits clusters together, cross-pollinating ideas and providing the region with its comparative advantage.

The ways commercial firms collaborate varies – whether through supply chains, shared translational institutions like the Catapult Centres, or more informal networks and industry bodies.

The West Midlands Plan for Growth builds upon the region’s Strategic Economic Plan and Local Industrial Strategy which capture the key features of the West Midlands economy, including our geographical connectivity, our young and diverse population, our skills profile and business productivity. Whilst this plan focuses on clusters with the potential for

high growth, our wider efforts will also provide support for businesses in other critical sectors, which are vital to the region’s success and prosperity.

The West Midlands Plan for Growth pinpoints those economic clusters where the region can ignite above-forecast levels of growth. These are clusters where the West Midlands has comparative advantage and businesses are confident to invest. Combining the power of private and public sectors around these opportunities gives the region a credible path to returning to being the fastest growing region in the country outside London.

Additional growth in the mid-to-high-value clusters in the West Midlands Plan for Growth creates prosperity right across the region by generating wealth that can be shared across our communities. The clusters comprise around 12%-15% of the region’s economy, but their potential impact is huge:

  • For people – clusters create well-paid, high-quality jobs.

  • For communities and supply chains – clusters help places capture their sense of purpose and gives direction to those firms potentially contributing to supply chains.

  • For the West Midlands and UK – clusters level-up the UK through additional growth and improve the economic resilience of the region and country by adapting our industrial heritage to prosper in new markets.

Read the article.