Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles visitied the site of one of Birmingham’s six economic zones afer signing over £2 million of funding to help it come to fruition.

Mr Pickles visited the advanced manufacturing hub in Aston, a project expected to create and safeguard up to 3,000 jobs within the automotive supply chain industry and associated businesses. It is one of six economic zones launched by Birmingham City Council in September.

The Minister also signed the contract for £2 million of Growing Places Funding from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP that will fund the purchase of further sites that will enable the delivery of improved infrastructure servicing the advanced manufacturing hub. The grant is being made to help to ensure that the Aston Hall Road site’s potential is fully realised.

Mr Pickles said: “Local Enterprise Partnerships are unlocking much-needed local growth and providing strong incentives for companies looking to invest. Using enterprise zones and the Growing Places fund – put to such good use in Aston – civic leaders and businesses are helping to create jobs and boost the local economy.”

Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, jobs and skills said: “I was really pleased to be able to show Mr Pickles around the site, which is part of a wider regeneration project for the area.

“We will support existing businesses and industry and improve access to employment and skills training for local residents so that they can benefit from these new opportunities, capitalising on the area’s strategic location and proximity to the motorway network.”

Whilst in Aston Mr Pickles visited Sertec, a company currently in discussions with Birmingham City Council and partners to see whether it can relocate to the advanced manufacturing hub.