Business leaders in the Black Country have said the region must have its own Local Enterprise Partnership, despite calls from some regional and national bodies to form a larger West Midlands LEP.
The Black Country Chamber of Commerce said the region needs its own LEP because it has its own distinct priorities that need to be addressed to support its local economy.
All parties concerned from both the public and private sectors realise that LEPs will not succeed by working in isolation and have pledged to work closely together on cross-boundary issues such as transport, the chamber said.
Mike Dell, president of the Black Country Chamber, said: “In the Black Country comprehensive and thorough consultation was carried out amongst the business community.
“Black Country Chamber has spent several months consulting on what the LEP needs to do differently. This culminated in a working conference in August where over 80 leaders from the private sector met to thrash out the finer detail.
“The outcome was hugely positive and showed the commitment that business has to ensuring that the Black Country recovers its pre-eminence as a centre for enterprise.”
The Black Country has a population of 1.1 million – the size of Luxembourg – and its 33,000 businesses generate £17 billion of gross value-added.