Westminster Social Policy Forum

The future for the Midlands Engine - the refreshed strategy, and priorities for infrastructure and economic development

Morning, Thursday, 28th November 2019

Central Birmingham

THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED



This seminar focuses on the future for the Midlands Engine.


With a refreshed Midlands Engine strategy due to be published later this year, it is bringing together stakeholders to discuss key issues - including economic development and infrastructure priorities for the region.


The agenda


Keynote contribution:


  • The future of the Midlands Engine - with Anthony May, Chief Executive, Nottinghamshire County Council and Chair, Midlands Engine Operating Board.

Further sessions on:


  • Digital connectivity - realising the benefits of full fibre and 5G - with Carl Arntzen, Chief Executive Officer, Bosch Thermotechnology;
  • Transport challenges and improvement opportunities across the region - with Kate Emerson, Director and Strategic Transport Modelling Lead, WSP;
  • International partnerships and attracting overseas investment - with Simon Hall, Deputy Director, Midlands, Department for International Trade;
  • Skills development - with Angela Joyce, Midlands Engine Skills Board Chair;
  • Establishing the East Midlands Development Corporation - with Robbie Owen, Partner and Head, Infrastructure Planning and Government Affairs, Pinsent Masons;
  • Attracting investment to the Midlands - with Grant Peggie, Director, Venture Capital Solutions, British Business Bank;
  • Business engagement and delivery of Local Industrial Strategies - with Katie Trout, Director, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership;
  • Housing - ensuring the right type is in the right place to support growth;
  • Manufacturing - supporting the Midlands as a manufacturing hub; and
  • Next steps for policy and the refreshed strategy.

Infrastructure priorities and delivery across the region


With the appointment of a new Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine, a refreshed Midlands Engine Strategy and the Government’s Infrastructure Strategy due to be published later this year, conference will provide an opportunity to assess policy and infrastructure priorities for the region.


We expect discussion on:


  • Transport - regional, national and international connectivity - including the possible ramifications of the independent review into HS2;
  • Digital - with discussion on access to 5G, full fibre network and the results of early trials in the region; and
  • Housing - priorities for meeting demand and the impact of the West Midlands Housing Deal - including the targeted attempt to unlock brownfield sites following a further £41m committed by the Government.

Delegates will also examine the future financing of these projects in light of the Infrastructure Finance Review - which looks at the future for private investment in major infrastructure - with discussion on attracting investment into the Midlands.


The conference also follows the Local Government Secretary’s commitment to further devolution deals in the Midlands and the announcement that 30 towns in the Midlands Engine region will be early beneficiaries from the £3.6bn Towns Fund.


Manufacturing, skills and economic development


Delegates will assess the priorities for economic development across the Midlands - with discussion on engagement and the needs of businesses, local leaders and Local Enterprise Partnerships.


It takes place in the context of:


  • The West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy, which sets out plans to boost the region as an advanced manufacturing and engineering centre; and
  • Establishment of an East Midlands Development Corporation, aimed at transforming the region’s economy.

Further sessions will provide an opportunity to assess how best to ensure the region is developing the skills needed to support growth.


The agenda also looks at what more needs to be done to support manufacturing across the Midlands with the Government confirming Jaguar Land Rover will receive a £500m loan guarantee from UK Export Finance to develop electric vehicles.



Keynote Speaker

Anthony May

Chief Executive, Nottinghamshire County Council and Chair, Midlands Engine Operating Board

Keynote Speaker

Anthony May

Chief Executive, Nottinghamshire County Council and Chair, Midlands Engine Operating Board

Chairs

Jeremy Lefroy MP

Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for the West Midlands

Alex Norris MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for the East Midlands

Speakers

Katie Trout

Director, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership

Kate Emerson

Director and Strategic Transport Modelling Lead, WSP

Carl Arntzen

Chief Executive Officer, Bosch Thermotechnology

Robbie Owen

Partner and Head, Infrastructure Planning and Government Affairs, Pinsent Masons

Grant Peggie

Director, Venture Capital Solutions, British Business Bank

Angela Joyce

Chief Executive Officer, WCG and Midlands Engine Skills Board Chair

Simon Hall

Deputy Director, Midlands, Department for International Trade