A Birmingham property expert has welcomed Andy Street’s election as the region’s first mayor, and backed him to deliver record levels of investment to the city.
JLL’s lead regional director, Ian Cornock, expects the Conservative politician to use his decades of business experience, to make sense of the new and complex regional structure.
“From the outside, it’s not yet clear how the Midlands Engine concept fits into the West Midlands Combined Authority, and how they both balance the needs of Birmingham, as the region’s pre-eminent creator of employment and wealth, with the requirements of the other regional centres,” he said.
“However, now the campaign is over, I believe Andy will replicate the leadership style he demonstrated as chairman of the Greater Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership, where he proved very capable of bringing together different views to achieve consensus and deliver effective strategies.
”When he represents the Midlands Engine, here or overseas, I know he’ll be a confident and persuasive speaker, who will deliver the clarity which is crucial.”
Cornock was also pleased to see Street underline his awareness of the importance of FDI (foreign direct investment) to the region, by visiting Pakistan and India in March, including discussions with senior management at JLR’s parent company, Tata Motors.
“FDI has been absolutely critical in driving economic growth here over the last decade, and will continue to do so. It’s crucial that we have a mayor who can see the big picture, and isn’t distracted by the minutiae of his role,” he said.
“Andy understands the language of investors, and will make an excellent ambassador for the region. At the same time, he knows that every major urban area is competing fiercely to attract FDI.
“I am confident he’ll do everything possible to make this region investor-friendly, in which delivering the next phase of Midland Metro extensions, including the link from Birmingham to the airport, will be key.”