Plans for life sciences growth and investment in high-speed rail are expected to dominate a major funding announcement next week.
The “growth deals” – unveiled on Monday – come after the region bid for £440 million worth of funding for schemes to boost investment in areas like skills and transport.
A number of schemes that will help Greater Birmingham to prepare for the arrival of HS2, boosting connectivity across the region, are expected to get the green light, as well as a series of investments to create thousands of jobs in life sciences.
Writing in today’s Post, Andy Street, the chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), which submitted the bid, said he was confident about the outcome.
He said: “Next week, the Government will announce the results of the ‘growth deals’, the next critical stage of their plan to rebalance the economy away from an over reliance on London.
“For all of us committed to a vibrant economy across Greater Birmingham and Solihull, it will be a significant event because of its impact on the future.
“It is also the culmination of work that has been taking place since last summer when the Government asked all 39 local enterprise partnerships to submit multi-year plans – Strategic Economic Plans, or SEPs – detailing their ambitions to drive economic growth.
“It has been a competitive process with other LEPs which partners across Greater Birmingham and Solihull have entered into with gusto, and I sense we’re confident of the outcome.”
The 51 priority projects outlined in the SEP are worth a total of £440 million over five years and the GBSLEP is asking for £86.3 million for 2015/16.
These projects are forecast to create 41,000 new jobs by 2022, provide 14,315 new homes and almost two million sq ft of commercial floorspace across the LEP area which covers Birmingham, Solihull, Wyre Forest, Redditch, Tamworth, Bromsgrove, East Staffordshire, Lichfield and Cannock Chase.
It includes the development of the new HS2 new stations at Birmingham Curzon and the Interchange and a package of transport measures to help the wider area access the new service.
The life sciences proposals include building new hubs for growing businesses and improving connectivity to make the most out of cutting-edge facilities at Birmingham University and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.