Press release

Full steam ahead for Midlands Engine, as Business Secretary confirms Budget support to drive growth for the region

Midlands Engine Investment Fund of over £250 million to invest in smaller businesses in the Midlands.

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  • Midlands Engine Investment Fund of over £250 million to invest in smaller businesses in the Midlands
  • government invests £14 million in STEAMhouse to convert former tea factory into creative innovation centre
  • this Budget drives forward the government’s vision for the Midlands Engine, including £16 million research and development (R&D) to support East Midlands aerospace firms and placing Midlands Connect on statutory footing by 2018

Business Secretary Sajid Javid will today visit Birmingham City University and a former Typhoo tea factory in Birmingham, which will be renovated into a creative innovation centre.

The government will invest £14 million in STEAMhouse in Digbeth to bring together arts and culture with science, technology, engineering and maths, and drive innovation within the former factory walls.

A Midlands Engine Investment Fund of over £250 million, run by the British Business Bank to invest in smaller businesses in the Midlands, has also been agreed with the government and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Driving growth in the Midlands is a key part of the government’s devolution revolution.

There are almost 96,000 more businesses now than in 2010, the equivalent to 52 opening every day. The new £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund will go further by backing even more growing businesses and creating thousands of new jobs throughout the region.

This week’s Budget drives forward the government’s vision for the Midlands Engine, and commits to supporting the development of Midlands Connect’s long-term transport strategy and the region’s traditional strengths in manufacturing and engineering.

Aerospace firms in the East Midlands will also benefit from £16 million in research and development (R&D) funding, matched by industry. This includes £7 million to help Rolls-Royce develop new high-temperature alloys in Derby.

The Midlands will also receive over £15 million funding to support R&D into lowering vehicle emissions.

Notes to Editors

  1. More information on the Budget announcements for the Midlands Engine are available in Budget 2016.
  2. The new £250 million Midlands Engine Investment Fund, a collaboration between British Business Bank and the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships, will contribute to efforts to rebalance the UK economy across the regions by focusing on the Midlands’ 460,000 smaller businesses.
  3. Specifically for the Midlands Engine, the Chancellor announced the government has agreed:
    • a new Mayoral Devolution Deal worth £450 million over 30 years devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire
    • that Midlands Connect will be put on a statutory footing by the end of 2018 to create a single transport body for the Midlands Engine following the £5 million investment last year
    • a raft of transport investments including £11 million to repair 214,000 potholes across the region and £1.4 million to expand car parking facilities at Market Harborough rail station
    • new Enterprise Zones at Brierley Hill, in Dudley, and Loughborough and Leicester, to attract jobs, private investment and growth in businesses
    • £16 million, matched by industry, to support aerospace firms in the East Midlands which includes £7 million to help Rolls Royce develop new machinery in Derby
    • £14 million in STEAMhouse, a creative innovation centre in Digbeth, Birmingham, bringing together arts and culture with science, technology, engineering
    • £1 million for transforming Coventry’s historic Drapers’ Hall theatre into a multi-purpose centre for the region’s musicians, including a recording studios and music library
    • £1.5 million from banking fines for the Royal British Legion, to establish a memorial to RAF Bomber Command in Lincolnshire
    • £700,000 from banking fines for Birmingham Children’s Eye Hospital, to help transform the eye department and help create the first centre for children with rare diseases and undiagnosed medical conditions
    • £200,000 for We’ll Meet Again, to establish a permanent museum in Lincolnshire to house one of the largest WW2 memorabilia collections in the UK
    • that 239 museums across the Midlands will be eligible to claim a new corporation tax relief for museums and galleries from 1 April 2017
    • £2 million to develop a regeneration master-plan for Birmingham’s Snow Hill district. This will help to maximise the potential of Snow Hill Station and the surrounding Colmore Business District. The government will also support Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP to develop a proposal for a new Knowledge Quarter in the area around the Curzon Street HS2 station
Published 17 March 2016