Meet the new official “champion” of the Midlands.
His name is James Brokenshire.
The 50-year-old Conservative MP is Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
But he also has another title. He’s the Ministerial Champion of the Midlands Engine - and yes, that is an official government position.
The role had been held by Sajid Javid, the MP for Bromsgrove, since it was created in 2015.
Mr Javid was Business Secretary at the time. He went on to become Culture Secretary and Local Government Secretary, but kept his position as our official champion all that time.
Now, Mr Javid has moved on to become Home Secretary. And Mr Brokenshire has been passed the Midlands Engine baton.
The Midlands Engine is a government project similar to the Northern Powerhouse, the high-profile scheme once championed by George Osborne, the former Chancellor.
It involves both the West Midlands and the East Midlands. One of the goals is to encourage the two regions to work more closely together, and that includes improving transport links between them.
Apparently, Birmingham is stronger not only if it joins forces with Coventry, Wolverhampton and Dudley, but also if it forges links with Leicester, Nottingham and Derby.
There’s also a focus on encouraging local government, businesses and universities to join forces.
Businessman Sir John Peace, ex-chairman of British fashion house Burberry, is the Midlands Engine chair.
And the target is to grow the Midlands economy by £54 billion by 2030, “to make the Midlands an even better place to live, work, study and do business”.
Mr Brokenshire said: “The economic success of every region of the UK is vital to the success of our country as a whole and this is going to be more important than ever once we leave the European Union.
“I am delighted to be the new Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine and to act as its advocate across government.
“I look forward to working in partnership with Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine, to drive forward the government’s plans to fire up the Midlands Engine to improve opportunities and quality of life across the region and to build an economy which works for everyone.”
Who is Mr Brokenshire? He was born in Essex, in 1968, and studied at the University of Exeter (the same university attended by Mr Javid).
He’s the MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, on the border between London and Kent, and served as a Crime Minister, Immigration Minister and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before becoming Local Government Secretary.
And it seems he hasn’t hesitated before getting stuck into his new role.
During a visit to Birmingham, where he spoke at the annual Local Government Association conference at the ICC, he helped Birmingham City University launch plans for the second phase of a new innovation centre, called the the STEAMHouse building, and paid a visit to the proposed site of the new HS2 station at Curzon Street.