Plans to create hundreds of jobs by turning the A38 corridor between Birmingham and Worcester into a hot bed of hi-tech firms have been shelved.
The Central Technology Belt was the brainchild of Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency, and emerged as a means of promoting new science-based industries following the first Rover crisis in 2000.
Sites in Birmingham including the former BBC headquarters at Pebble Mill and the derelict Rover works at Longbridge were earmarked for development along with land owned by the University of Birmingham and Aston University.
An investment company run by AWM, called CTB, was set up to drive forward the A38 scheme.
However, with the abolition of AWM imminent, public sector finance for the corridor has all but dried up and CTB has achieved little in the past year.
CTB’s board met in March to agree a new business plan and decided that developing pre-determined corridors of industries was no longer a workable idea.
Jack Glonek, Birmingham City Council’s assistant director of innovation, enterprise and investment, said there was a realisation that technology companies must innovate by building relationships with other similar companies to generate new ideas “wherever they are based”.
Mr Glonek added: “The process of innovation is spread beyond the confines of a fairly small collection of knowledge assets or a geographical-based technological corridor. The CTB has decided not to be constrained by working just within the A38 technology corridor.
“There may be value in the concept of technology remaining as a spatial planning concept but there are doubts as to whether it is still a valid tool for generating regeneration and economic growth.”