This conference will assess the future for the Midlands Engine, bringing together policymakers with key stakeholders from across the region.
Delegates will discuss the progress of the second devolution deal between the Government and the West Midlands Combined Authority and the future for governance in the region.
The seminar follows budget announcements including a refreshed Midlands Engine Strategy to be published next year, up to £20m for the West Midlands Combined Authority to fund a UK Mobility Data Institute to collect, process and analyse transport data generated by new mobility technologies, up to £70m to construct the national element of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre, £8.5m to the Coventry City of Culture, and £165m investment to unlock 5,000 new homes after the Commonwealth Games.
The agenda also looks at priorities for investment in the context of the £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and support committed by the Government for a Midlands housing delivery taskforce, a construction skills training scheme and an allocation from the Transforming Cities fund to be spent on local intra-city transport priorities.
Attendees will consider the next steps for transport infrastructure, as Midlands Connect seeks assurances that they will have an active role in the Government’s root and branch review of rail, and as the Phase 2b Hybrid Bill is delayed by twelve months.
In the context of record numbers of foreign direct investment projects in the past decade - and Government calls for West Midlands businesses to embrace export opportunities, further sessions will discuss the opportunities for attracting wider investment and fostering trade, as well as encouraging innovation, digital connectivity and 5G, university collaboration, and supporting the region’s manufacturing sector to underpin the Engine’s success.