Investment of almost £50 million will be poured into the poorest parts of east Birmingham to tackle unemployment.
The cash, from the European Regional Development Fund, city council and other public bodies, has been earmarked to transform the A34 Stratford Road corridor, which a report described as blighted by high levels of business failures and social deprivation.
The assessment, written for the council cabinet, warns problems are likely to worsen in the recession and calls for much more to be done to increase educational attainment and skills levels.
It says new priority should be given to attempts to connect the area’s mainly Pakistani and Bangladeshi population to the 30,000 jobs expected in Eastside and Digbeth over the next few years.
As well as training schemes, some of the money is likely to be used to pay for high-profile regeneration projects.
These include £3.75 million to support music and creative industries by providing business start-up units at Digbeth, including a project to bring the Grade 1 listed Curzon Street Station back into use as a centre for small firms.
Another proposal is to spend £750,000 building a series of public and private-sector buildings dubbed an “iconic gateway” at the junction of Stratford Road and Highgate Road, to overcome the A34’s image problem.
The report warns the area’s Asian communities are characterised by an embedded “culture of worklessness and low aspiration”. Unemployment is twice the Birmingham rate and five times the national rate.