Press release

Budget 2015: what it means for the Midlands

Budget 2015 confirms Long Term Economic Plan for the Midlands and sets out next steps to do more.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

placeholder

The Chancellor has confirmed in Budget 2015 his Long Term Economic Plan for the Midlands to ensure that the region continues to play a significant role in building an Engine for Growth while setting out steps to do even more.

The new measures will help build on a 6-point plan announced by the Prime Minister and Chancellor last month in a speech made in Derby which put jobs, skills, transport, science and quality of life at its heart.

The plan aims to:

  1. add an extra £34 billion to the Midlands economy in real terms by 2030, equivalent to over £3,000 per person

  2. create 300,000 extra jobs in the Midlands by backing the core strengths of the local economy like advanced manufacturing and engineering

  3. put skills at the heart of the economic revival of the Midlands, working with local businesses and the Local Enterprise Partnership on a radical new matching service for local working people and increasing skilled apprenticeships

  4. deliver £5.2 billion of investment into new transport infrastructure in the Midlands

  5. back science and innovation in the Midlands, focussing on the plan for local universities to develop an Energy Research Accelerator and support new technology in the world-leading automotive sector

  6. improve the quality of life in the Midlands by regenerating run-down estates, investing in the county towns, supporting the construction of 30,000 new homes and making improvements to local education so 150,000 more pupils attend outstanding schools

As important next steps in the plan to build an Engine for Growth, the Chancellor today announced a number of new measures such as a High Speed Rail Investment Summit in Birmingham, a boost for the region’s world-leading scientific and engineering capability and a new batch of Housing Zones, while outlining his Budget for 2015 which is all about delivering a truly national recovery.

These include:

  • a High Speed Rail Investment Summit in Birmingham which will help maximise the wider benefits to the UK of the High Speed 2 project. The summit will be delivered by UK Trade & Investment and Marketing Birmingham to focus overseas investment on regeneration and supply chain opportunities

  • investment of £60 million for the first phase of a proposal by six universities across the Midlands in a new Energy Research Accelerator, a major project to develop future energy technologies

  • as part of the government’s creation of science centres, the Energy Systems Catapult – which links business with academia to develop new technology - will be located in Birmingham, building on the Midland’s reputation for scientific and engineering excellence

  • five new Housing Zones in the Midlands will deliver up to 7,500 new homes at Bassetlaw, Gedling, West Lindsey, Derby and Stoke-on-Trent. The government will also continue to work with two further potential Zones in the Midlands, at Dudley and Sandwell. The housing zones programme offers the chance to unlock brownfield land that has the potential to provide viable housing across the country

As the Chancellor has set out clearly, the only way for the UK’s recovery to be truly sustainable is for it to be truly national. While the challenge is significant, so is the prize ahead. By pursuing this plan, the Chancellor aims to achieve real outcomes for the people of the Midlands.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:

The Midlands have seen an extra job created every ten minutes over the last year. This Budget builds on our long term economic plan to make the Midlands an engine of growth, which I set out in Derby last month – a plan that will add an extra £34 billion to the economy, create 300,000 extra jobs and invest £5.2 billion in new transport infrastructure.

The Budget takes our plan further, with ambitious investment including a new Enterprise Zone, new Housing Zones, the Energy Research Accelerator across six Midlands universities and a major Rail Investment Summit in Birmingham. Accelerated flood defences will also protect more homes and businesses sooner.

Our plan is working, and will deliver more jobs and stronger growth for the Midlands – which means more economic security and a brighter future for families and businesses alike.

Published 19 March 2015