The idea of developing a new technology corridor along the A38 between Birmingham and Malvern had some merit, but the scheme was always a bit too state-driven to succeed.

How would the necessary land be put together? What incentives could be given to attract, nurture and keep high-tech firms?

It is sometimes difficult to recall now the sheer panic that struck the West Midlands in 2000, when the first Rover crisis brought home to politicians the likelihood of Birminghams largest volume car producer collapsing, taking perhaps 50,000 jobs with it.

Diversifying away from the regions dependence on traditional manufacturing was the correct response, and so was the wish to encourage new science and technology driven industries.

But the shortcomings of prioritising sites along the A38, the brainchild of regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, were soon clear to see.

Naturally, AWM could not have predicted the scale of the recession, credit crunch and financial disaster to befall the country, but the fact a decade later that sites like Pebble Mill in Birmingham remain largely undeveloped point to the failure of the Central Technology Belt as a geographic entity.

The regions economic future depends on developing skills and industries, but this must not be restricted to the A38.