William Eichler 23 November 2023

Autumn Statement: West Midlands investment zone confirmed

Autumn Statement: West Midlands investment zone confirmed image
Image: A CGI of how the gigafactory at Coventry Airport could look.

A new investment zone is set to be established in the West Midlands focusing on three sites in Warwickshire, Birmingham, and Wolverhampton, the Chancellor said yesterday.

Confirmed in the Autumn Statement, the investment area could create more than 30,000 jobs and attract £5.5bn of investment over 11 years, according to the Government.

The zone will combine a mix of tax incentives, direct funding, and business rate retention to drive growth in advanced manufacturing, green industries, health-tech and underlying digital technologies.

Covering the whole of the West Midlands, the zone will be powered through three specific sites: Coventry-Warwick Gigapark, Birmingham Knowledge Quarter, and Wolverhampton Green Innovation Corridor.

Mr Hunt also confirmed a single pot of funding for the West Midlands, which will give the area more power over spending.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: ‘It’s great news that we now have confirmation that our region will play host to an Investment Zone – incorporating sites from Wolverhampton to Birmingham to Coventry.

‘This will turbo-charge the prospects of some of our key areas of strength including tech, advanced manufacturing, and green industries. Working alongside the outstanding research capabilities of our world-leading universities, this Investment Zone will enhance our ability to attract global companies to our region.

‘The Chancellor's decision to empower the West Midlands with a single funding settlement heralds a pivotal moment for our region. It will end the need for competitive bidding into Government to fund our transport, housing, skills, and investment projects and put us on par with Government departments and devolved parts of the UK.’

For more on the Autumn Statement check out the following:

Autumn Statement: Councils remain ‘chronically underfunded’

Autumn Statement: Hunt devolves but councils face new costs

Autumn Statement: Planning system to prioritise EV charging

Autumn Statement: Hunt announces surprise LGPS plan

Autumn Statement: Unprotected departments face further cuts

Autumn Statement: Level 4 devolution unveiled

Autumn Statement: Living Wage hike places council budgets under pressure

Autumn Statement: Business rates measures to be fully funded

Autumn Statement: Councils to be able to recover planning costs

Autumn Statement: Housing benefits unfrozen

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