Key schemes to create or safeguard 40,000 jobs in the West Midlands have been given funding from the Regional Growth Fund.
Under the first round of the fund, five bids by companies and partnerships to promote economic growth – directly creating 6,193 jobs in the West Midlands, with 34,669 more posts likely to be created in associated supply chains.
The schemes which have won funding in the West Midlands have been put forward by Jaguar Land Rover, Alstom Grid UK, Bosch Thermotechnology, Prince’s Regeneration Trust and Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of Birmingham City Council.
The latter will see £15.7 million put towards upgrading the A45 around Birmingham Airport, bringing hopes of an enlarged runway closer to being realised.
Leader of Birmingham City Council councillor Mike Whitby said: “The £15.7 million announced for the upgrading of the A45 will bring significant transportation and economic benefits to the region and will also remove the constraint the current road alignment has on the proposed runway extension. "
A research and development plan put forward by Jaguar Land Rover will also receive funding from the RGF.
The funding boost for the West Midlands came as RGF funding went towards creating or safeguarding 100,000 jobs by investing £450 million in businesses across England.
Across the country, ministers said 27,000 jobs will be directly created or safeguarded, with tens of thousands of others supported in associated supply chains.
The rest of the Government’s £1 billion fund will be allocated later following a second round of bids, which have now started.
Richard Halstead, Midlands region director at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said he was pleased to see a boost for the region’s production sector.
He added: “Given the limited resources available, this is a welcome focus on supporting investment in research and development and backing high quality jobs in growing manufacturing sectors.
“The next stage must be to work in tandem with the national growth strategy to create a competitive business environment which will stimulate additional private sector investment across all regions.
“The backing of substantial projects of key importance to the Midlands region such as research and development in the automotive sector will bring significant benefits and help to secure jobs for the long term.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “I was bowled over by the quality of the bids. This money will now help create and safeguard jobs in some of the communities worst hit by the economic downturn.
“Today is a step towards rebalancing our economy away from an unhealthy over-reliance on a small number of industries and a few areas.
We need to spread opportunity across the whole country, drawing on our many talents. I know that with the right support these businesses can work with their communities and together play their part in leading the country back into prosperity.”
The Government expects the £450 million to lever in around £2.5 billion of private sector investment.