In preparation for his latest PM Direct, Prime Minister David Cameron has written an open letter to Birmingham Mail readers outlining his vision for the city.
Read the letter
Birmingham has an immense industrial history.
It was said that in the workshop of the world you could find anything being made, from Brylcreem to brass beds.
This city was the powerhouse of the industrial revolution, and the West Midlands among the most prosperous regions in the UK for much of the twentieth century.
My message is clear: industrial and business success in Birmingham is not the stuff of museums.
This city can have a future every bit as prosperous as its past - but to make that happen we have to have a new and bold approach to our economy.
Over the past decade so much of our country’s growth, wealth and prosperity was concentrated in one part of the country.
Between 1999 and 2008 the West Midlands was the only UK region that saw a contraction in private sector jobs - and in Birmingham today the percentage of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance is almost double the national average.
I passionately believe it doesn’t have to be like this. Where is it written that one corner of the country has to dominate so decisively?
That’s why one of the main aims of this coalition government is to rebalance our economy so that every region, every city, every town can share in our growing prosperity.
We’re going to achieve that by getting behind business and driving private sector growth to create wealth and jobs across the country.
That means doing three things.
First we’re freeing enterprise to compete, stopping the endless rise of red tape and getting business taxes down.
For the next three years we will waive some employment taxes on the first 10 jobs created by new businesses outside London, the South East and the Eastern region.
We’re also cutting the main rate of corporation tax from 28p to 24p over the next four years and bringing down the small companies’ rate from 21p to 20p.
Second, we’re going to improve the infrastructure that underpins our regional economies, from transport projects to new technology colleges.
It’s true that money is tight.
But we’ve got to make sure we take sensible decisions on the projects that will rebalance our economy in the long-run.
For instance, we’ve committed to the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station.
The third step to rebalancing our economy is through a new Regional Growth Fund to support private sector growth in places like the West Midlands.
We’re inviting local businesses and communities to form proposals that will stimulate local economic growth, apply for government support from the Fund and kick start some of the projects they come up with.
So this is our plan and this is our purpose: to rebalance and transform our economy. Birmingham has a great industrial past, but it can have an even greater industrial future.