The Midlands has set out its stall to win £14 billion from global investors as part of its plan to turn itself into one of the world’s leading regional economies.
Never before has the Midlands come together on such a large scale in order to attract investment, with 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) uniting to convince global investors that the region represents one of the most attractive propositions anywhere in the world.
The plan, dubbed the Midlands Engine Pitchbook, will be used to showcase investment opportunities to key markets such as China and the US. It unveils 33 major opportunities for investors, which combined can create 178,000 jobs, 32,000 new homes and 57.9 million sq ft of property space for the region.
The Midlands is the largest economic area outside London, and attracted 880 foreign direct investment projects between 2011 and 2015, more than any other region. It already generates £222 billion to the British economy, which has increased 30% in the past decade. The region is already home to major investors including Jaguar Land Rover, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Mondolez, Toyota UK and Boots.
The business secretary Sajid Javid, who is the ministerial champion for the region, UKTI and local leaders believe the Midlands must open itself up to the world if it is to sustain the remarkable economic growth it has experienced in recent years.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The Midlands is a region on the rise with a unique offer to investors. From Nestle to Rolls Royce, it is home to some of the world’s biggest companies and boasts a vast pool of talent in industries ranging from advanced manufacturing to food and drink.
“Foreign investment in the Midlands has more than doubled since 2011 and by embracing opportunities such as the MIPIM trade fair, we will capitalise on the Midlands’ natural strengths and make it an engine for growth.”
These opportunities, the majority of which are ready for development immediately, include:
· A mixed use development site in Leicester, which will be one of the biggest greenfield sites to be developed in the UK (Scale: £400m).
· The unique opportunity to invest in the UK’s most ambitious infrastructure project, HS2.
· More than 4,000 new homes will be built around the city centre’s brand new HS2 station – Curzon Street (Scale: £1.5bn+).
· The regeneration around the HS2 Interchange and Hub in Solihull alone will create over 20,000 new jobs (Scale: £1bn+).
· Jaguar Land Rover will expand its existing facilities, and create a designated technology campus in Coventry (Scale: £500m).
· A range of investment opportunities adjacent to the Rolls-Royce global civil aerospace HQ are on offer within Infinity Park, part of the Derby and Nottingham Enterprise Zone, where businesses receive a package of benefits (Scale: £700m+).
· Plans for 6,000 houses and a new motorway junction have been approved in Lincolnshire Lakes to complement the government’s initiative to create the UK’s largest deep water project (Scale: £900m)
· To capitalise on the region’s expertise, the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone will see the development of six individual sites (Scale: £1.5bn).
The investment opportunities outlined have been individually sourced by the UKTI Regeneration Investment Organisation which has a remit to support job creation and economic growth across the UK through attracting institutional investor funding into large scale regeneration schemes.
Sir Michael Bear, chairman of the UKTI Regeneration Investment Organisation, said: “The UKTI Regeneration Investment Organisation has a track record of sourcing the most attractive investment opportunities, and delivering success for investors across the world. The Midlands Engine has grown at record levels over the past decade, and its offer to investors is among the most desirable in the world.
“Our plan has a clear ambition: to attract investors to one of the world’s most attractive business destinations, where they can reap the rewards for decades to come. The majority of these opportunities are ready for development immediately, and I’d encourage investors to seize this unique opportunity while they can.”
Andy Street, chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, said: “The Midlands is undergoing a remarkable economic resurgence, underpinned by the talent, infrastructure and support that the region offers to businesses large and small. Launching the Midlands Engine Pitchbook demonstrates how the region has developed a coordinated approach to targeting new investment; by working together, we have a stronger voice and more compelling story to tell the world. By showcasing our strongest investment opportunities – from HS2 to major residential schemes and Enterprise Zone sites – to key markets such as China, Europe and the USA, I have no doubt that the Pitchbook will help to stimulate even more international interest in the Midlands.”
Peter Richardson, chair of the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) LEP, said: “The Midlands has invested heavily in its transport infrastructure, turning the UK’s best connected region into an investment hotspot. The region’s road and rail infrastructure means that 92% of the country is within a four hour commute of the Midlands, and the forthcoming arrival of HS2 is only set to improve links to other UK economic hubs. With three international airports, investors from over 200 countries can easily access our region.”