Mark Whitehead 13 February 2023

West Midlands Combined Authority sets out £1.1bn budget

West Midlands Combined Authority sets out £1.1bn budget image
Image: trabantos/Shutterstock.com.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has set out a £1.1bn budget which it says includes major investments to cut carbon while delivering inclusive growth, new homes and jobs.

More than £805m of funding for infrastructure, land regeneration and job training schemes is aimed at bolstering the regional economy and supporting the fight against climate change.

Despite a reduction in real terms funding, it says the budget will protect existing services and help support local people facing cost of living and quality of life pressures.

But it warns of tough challenges due to increasing material, energy and construction costs which will continue into the future if current global economic pressures and rising inflation persist.

This means the actual amount allocated for capital investments will be determined by current financial year performance meaning a final 2023/24 capital budget will be presented to the WMCA Board early in the new financial year.

The indicative capital budget includes £357m for major transport projects to expand and decarbonise the network including new rail lines and stations, metro tram lines, pollution free buses and safe walking and cycling routes.

West Midlands mayor and WMCA chair Andy Street said: ‘It’s no secret that the UK is experiencing tough times at the moment and the WMCA is not immune to these challenges.

‘That’s why we’re taking suitably prudent steps when it comes to our finances as we look ahead to 2023/2024.’

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