Bill Wiggin MP has welcomed a green paper on a new modern Industrial Strategy which will support businesses in West Midlands to grow and create more high skilled, high paid jobs for local people.

The Industrial Strategy will ensure everyone in West Midlands can benefit from success through ten ‘pillars’ – including investing in science, research and innovation, and upgrading infrastructure – that underpin a new approach and will identify all of the new opportunities across our economy. This strategy will create the conditions where the winners can emerge and grow in different types of business across West Midlands.

During an Industrial Strategy Consultation in the House of Commons, Bill Wiggin MP asked the Secretary of State:

‘The New Model in Technology and Engineering, or Hereford University as it should properly be known, has received tremendous support from the Secretary of State’s Department, but will the £170 million that he has promised in this statement be too late for Herefordshire, as we only have until 28 January to apply for new funding?’

The Secretary of State replied:

‘My hon. Friend is right to point out the prescience of his friends and neighbours in Herefordshire in making their proposal. This is a very good example of precisely the sort of reform that we need, and I think that its prospects are pretty bright.’

The modern Industrial Strategy will benefit West Midlands and proposes:

  • Cultivating our world-leading sectors, including the Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Sector in Birmingham and Solihull, which employs around 115,000 people and accounts for 60 per cent of the UK’s automotive R&D.
  • Supporting the development of major infrastructure projects, by providing development funding for major upgrades such as the Midlands Rail Hub.
  • Improving access to finance for businesses right across the country to grow, including through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.

Commenting after the consultation, Bill Wiggin MP said:

‘This is an important step in building a modern, dynamic Industrial Strategy that will deliver more high skilled, high wage jobs and improve living standards and drive economic growth across West Midlands.

‘Local businesses and workers have the chance to contribute to this vision and submit their views to help us create a high-skilled economy in West Midlands where businesses can grow and more jobs are created.

‘This strategy will ensure we are backing are business in West Midlands and ensure more people share in the benefits of its success.’