Tragically Covid is threatening jobs and livelihoods in the West Midlands. So I am fighting to support local jobs and businesses across the region.
In the West Midlands I have been:
- Winning £640.3m of Government funding so far, towards the business case he submitted to Government, including a £325m share of training, skills and back to work support.
- Specifically £168.8m of extra Government funding for regional projects – including securing another £84m (on top of the previous £350m) for brownfield housing and £66m for ‘shovel ready’ schemes. In Birmingham, we are rebuilding University station and the Life Sciences Park at Selly Oak. In Dudley, we have begun work on the National Innovation Centre for Very Light Rail and we have plans to build the National Brownfield Institute on the former Springfield Brewery site in Wolverhampton.
- Pressing for major regional projects like HS2, the Commonwealth Games and Coventry City of Culture to award more work to local businesses and jobs to local people.
- Maintaining the Combined Authority’s £2billion spending programme on transport infrastructure, housebuilding, the environment, and regeneration projects to support jobs.
- Decisively increasing support for those who do lose their jobs with new training schemes including digital training, offering more than 3,800 online courses, promoting the Kickstart of paid work-placements for young people with an initial 3,000 places, and getting an additional 1,124 apprentices into 332 local businesses through local funding.
- Maintaining the Combined Authority’s £2billion spending programme including key projects, in Coventry like the new Friargate office complex and railway station.
I have also been working with local councils to provide support to local businesses with Government support:
- Birmingham Council included £214m in business grants and £183.4m in business rate relief
- Coventry Council provided £50.2m in business rate relief and £47.9m in business grants
- Dudley Council supported businesses with £55.8m in business grants and also with £46.4m in business rate relief
- Sandwell Council offered £56.9m in business grants and £34.5m in business rate relief
- Solihull Council included £26.4m in business grants and £54.8m in business rate relief
- Walsall Council offered £43.2m in business grants and £27.2m in business rate relief
As I guide the West Midlands through the recovery of the pandemic, I will continue to fight to support jobs and businesses in our region.