Business leaders from across the region have welcomed the proposed devolution agreement between Treasury and the emerging West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
In the biggest devolution deal to date the agreement will see the government make an annual contribution of £40 million for 30 years to support an overall investment package worth £8 billion, alongside the creation of up to half a million jobs.
Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and businesses are key to growing the region’s economy and the further development of the WMCA's plans.
Stewart Towe, Chair of the Black Country LEP said:
“This proposed devolution deal is a real opportunity for the West Midlands, in agreement with government, to take control of our own economic growth and to continue to work with our partners across the West Midlands including local authorities and fellow LEPs in Greater Birmingham and Solihull and Coventry and Warwickshire.
“The level of partnership between public and private sector, which is unique to the West Midlands proposed devolution deal, is focused on investing in the region, creating new jobs, improving skills, delivering more homes and dramatically improving transport. This proposed devolution deal will make a real difference to people young and old and to businesses across the West Midlands.”
Stewart Towe, Chair of the Black Country LEP
Ninder Johal, Past Chair of Black Country Asian Business Association said:
“The proposed devolution deal is welcomed by business throughout the West Midlands as a necessary step in increasing the pace of growth across our region. Business leaders have played a key role in developing the proposed deal to ensure it continues to build on successes in delivering thousands of new jobs and record levels of investment across the region in order to ensure the economy continues to grow.”
Ninder Johal, Past Chair of Black Country Asian Business Association
Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said:
“The Combined Authority is to be congratulated on striking this deal which marks a massive step forward for the West Midlands. Bringing together the various authorities in this way involved an enormous amount of detailed work and that now means the region will be in a perfect position to control its own destiny.”
Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
Matt Hammond, Regional Chairman at PwC in the Midlands said:
“This is great news for the region. The proposed agreement will mean that decisions can be made by the WMCA on the investment priorities and service interventions that will deliver growth, improve skills and raise productivity levels in the region. These are the issues that will make a real difference.
“The West Midlands is already one of the top performing areas in the UK for foreign and indirect investment, with £6.8bn of GVA from manufacturing, 1.3 million jobs in the private sector and home to some of the fastest growing small and medium-sized private businesses in the country.”
Matt Hammond, Regional Chairman at PwC in the Midlands
Mike Wright, Executive Director at Jaguar Land Rover, said:
“Jaguar Land Rover welcomes the agreement as an opportunity to increase collaboration between government and business in the West Midlands in order to create more jobs and growth in the region.”
Mike Wright, Executive Director at Jaguar Land Rover
Jonathan Browning, Chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP, said:
“This proposed devolution agreement is exciting and unique. The three LEPs in the Black Country, Birmingham and Solihull and Coventry and Warwickshire have worked successfully together for the past few years and now we will be able to deliver even more as part of the biggest Combined Authority in the country.
“We know that scale matters and with a population of over four million people we are incredibly well placed to compete internationally for investment as we look to accelerate a manufacturing renaissance for the region.”
Jonathan Browning, Chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP