A new body – tasked with attracting investment, jobs, visitors and businesses to the West Midlands – has been established.
The creation of the West Midlands Growth Company was formally agreed yesterday at a Marketing Birmingham General Meeting in Birmingham.
This will now see Birmingham’s strategic marketing partnership transition to a new organisation, with a broader remit and new Board being established.
Formed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and aligned to the ambitions set out in the WMCA Strategic Economic Plan, the West Midlands Growth Company will raise the profile of the region in national and global markets, making it more distinctive and attractive to investors.
The West Midlands Growth Company will work in partnership with local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), local authorities, Growth Hubs, universities and the private sector.
It will be charged with delivering a pipeline of major inward investment propositions, developing a more focused and seamless business support programme and marketing the West Midlands’ visitor economy assets for business and leisure tourists.
Paul Kehoe, chairman of the West Midlands Growth Company, said: “Marketing Birmingham’s journey began on 26th April 1982. It is therefore fitting that exactly 35 years to the day that the company was formed, we and the WMCA are taking this significant step to create a new entity, showcasing the economic opportunities available across the whole of the West Midlands.
"By working across a unified region, the Growth Company will be able to tell a much stronger story internationally and use this collaboration to its advantage in securing more investment and visits into the West Midlands.
“In recent years, Marketing Birmingham has worked closely with partners across the public and private sectors to secure a record-high number of foreign direct investment projects, the largest growth in international visitors of any UK city outside London and the relocation of HSBC UK from the capital to Birmingham. The decision to create the new West Midlands Growth Company will build on Marketing Birmingham’s expertise for the benefit of the whole region.”
Martin Reeves, interim Chief Executive of the WMCA, said: "The Growth Company will help the Combined Authority put the West Midlands on the international map like never before.
"We’ll be working with the public and private sectors – with the likes of our universities at the coalface – to create new jobs; expand existing businesses and attract new investment to the region.
“Creating the West Midlands Growth Company is a huge step towards delivering our aspirations for the region and how we will make the most of devolution, demonstrating that a stronger West Midlands is not just good for local people and businesses, but the whole of the UK.”
The Marketing Birmingham Partnership Programme, Business Birmingham, Visit Birmingham and Meet Birmingham will continue to be promoted.