Local growth is flourishing in Aston and Wolverhampton as a result of locally directed government funding to create high-tech manufacturing jobs.
Mr Pickles began his tour at the Sertec Group Holdings in Aston where he signed a contract for £2 million of Growing Places funding from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull local enterprise partnership. This will allow them to purchase new ground at the Aston Regional Investment site and improve its infrastructure connections.
Sertec is looking to relocate to a new advanced manufacturing hub in Aston, 1 of 6 economic zones unveiled by Birmingham City Council. This new hub is phase one of Aston’s regional investment sites capable of delivering 3,000 jobs, 300,000 square feet of office or industrial space and bringing in over £30 million of private sector money.
Mr Pickles inspected a subsidiary plant of Sertec also set to benefit. Presslite is a local family-run business that manufactures automotive parts for major car companies and employs 150 people.
The Communities Secretary then travelled to the i54 enterprise zone near Wolverhampton where he met senior representatives from 3 companies. Moog, a high-tech aerospace business; Eurofins, a food testing laboratory; and Jaguar Land-Rover who will start building their new engine there creating at least 750 new jobs following their £355 million investment backed up by £10 million from government.
All 3 firms were attracted by the low business rates, streamlined planning permissions within the enterprise zone as well as a £40 million joint investment from Wolverhampton City Council and Staffordshire County Council in a new junction off the M54 that will service the site.
Mr Pickles said:
“Local enterprise partnerships are making decisions everyday to unlock much-needed local growth and give private sector companies every reason to invest and locate to their areas.
“Through our enterprise zones - like the i54 in Wolverhampton - and our Growing Places Fund - put to such good use in Aston - civic and businesses leaders in the West Midlands are helping create new jobs for their residents by bringing new firms to their local economy.”