Tim Pile, Chair of GBSLEP
The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has successfully completed its 20th flagship project, unlocking £124m in regional economic growth.
GBSLEP has provided £38 million of funding to help improve connectivity, upskill the local workforce, and unlock new levels of investment and growth in the region.
First established in 2010 as a partnership of business, public sector and further and higher education leaders, GBSLEP’s mission has been to create jobs, grow the economy and raise the quality of life for nearly two million residents across nine local authority boundaries.
As part of GBSLEP’s Local Growth Programme, investment for its first 20 completed projects has come from the Local Growth Fund, via the three Growth Deals agreed with the Government.
Tim Pile, chair of GBSLEP, said of the milestone: “GBSLEP is committed to raising the prospects and economic future of every individual and business in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, and these projects demonstrate that we’re achieving this.
“It is hugely rewarding to see the public and private sectors working together to create thousands of jobs and make a real economic impact across the region – from Cannock to Redditch, East Staffordshire to Birmingham.
“These projects reflect a forward-thinking region with huge potential, which welcomes collaboration with other like-minded organisations keen to make a significant impact on our local economy.
“The diversity of the 20 completed projects and their focus on high-growth sectors illustrates our aim to carve a real legacy of sustained economic growth for generations to come.
“With many emerging projects and opportunities set to further stimulate economic prosperity across the region, such as HS2, we look to the future with great optimism.”
The 20 GBSLEP-supported projects that are currently being delivered span across many sectors including technology, engineering, infrastructure and education.
Key projects include Solihull College and University’s new Virtual Reality and Robotics Centre – a facility aimed at delivering a workforce at the forefront of the world’s rapidly evolving technological industries.
The Centre welcomed its first cohort of students in September 2017.
GBSLEP has worked closely with regional partners to deliver its Local Growth
Another project has been the East Staffordshire Regeneration Programme, supported by £1.5 million of Local Growth Funding, has enabled remediation works to be carried out across three brownfield sites in the East Staffordshire area, releasing £5 million of dormant capital investment in land assets.
All three sites are now undergoing sales and planning processes, which will see the development of more than 10,000 sqm of office space, up to 250 new homes and 500 new jobs in key urban locations within East Staffordshire.
Patricia Ackroyd, Deputy Leader for Enterprise at East Staffordshire Borough Council, said: “There is no question that the funding support from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP has played a big part in helping to bring these three sites forward and support their release for private development.
“Without this programme of infrastructure works, which was made possible thanks to GBSLEP funding, the sites remained unviable for developers.
“Now, we are close to securing significant investment which will drive the continued growth of the economy in East Staffordshire.”