The boom in Birmingham’s economy is not so a great deal a boom any longer, but a way of life, the new regular for a city that is lastly believing in its prospective.
We’re no longer shocked that worldwide firms like HSBC and PwC are investing so heavily right here.
Why would not they? The city is skilled, effectively connected, revolutionary and youthful.
As the Midlands’ most significant city, the achievement of Birmingham is an vital bellwether for the rest of the area.
Making certain the Midlands’ ten million-sturdy population and 800,000 corporations can get to, from and by way of Birmingham swiftly and effectively will advantage all of us, far beyond the gleaming new buildings at Paradise and Eastside.
The Midlands Engine’s most recent campaign is inviting the business enterprise neighborhood to speak to them, to leverage the considerable public sector assistance at its disposal to assistance the private sector, regardless of whether that is on a trade mission to China or amongst thousands of investors at home conference MIPIM.
As the Midlands Engine’s transport companion, and a central tenet of its tactic to generate jobs and boost productivity, Midlands Connect has a clear function.
We place strategic connectivity at the core of financial development plans and turn tough proof into lasting, transformative investment with true-globe rewards.
It really is no coincidence the spectacular rise in Birmingham’s position as a worldwide magnet for inward investment has occurred alongside a step-adjust improvement in transport infrastructure and especially in tandem with the prospect of HS2 trains rolling in to the city centre in 2026.
Far better transport and financial improvement are symbiotic for two vital factors.
Initially, it makes it possible for individuals to move far more freely, supplying far more option more than exactly where to perform, study and delight in leisure activities.
It signifies we can travel additional to uncover a improved-paid job, the fantastic university course or an remarkable day out.
A far more reputable road and rail network enables far more of these movements, stimulating financial output and producing us all far more productive.
Second, improved infrastructure makes it possible for corporations to access bigger pools of skilled workers and move goods about far more effectively, regardless of whether that is a expert solutions firm deciding on its new headquarters or an sophisticated manufacturer like JLR that requirements reputable roads and railways to get its goods to national and international markets.
Investing in transport in Birmingham and the wider Midlands – at the heart of the country’s rail and road freight operations – is consequently a national as effectively as a regional crucial.
I speak day-to-day to business enterprise leaders about our plans to relieve stress on our congested motorway networks and A roads and shift far more freight from these roads and on to our railways.
The message I preserve hearing, from organisations of all sizes, is clear: if there is certainty that individuals and goods can move far more effectively across rail and road, we will develop far more swiftly.
Company certainty may perhaps be thin on the ground at the moment but the West Midlands is practically nothing if not resilient.
The region’s exports are increasing rapidly – up 7.six per cent to £33.7 billion in 2017/18.
Across the Midlands Engine location as a complete, our collective may well would make us the 12th most significant exporter on a ranked list of EU nations, ahead of Portugal and Denmark.
As we forge a new spot for ourselves in the globe post-Brexit, the prospective for additional development, with a lengthy-term connectivity strategy, knows no bounds.
Transport is a verified financial enabler – jobs and prosperity cannot be produced with no it and improvement plans fall flat with no the appropriate infrastructure in spot.
The catalytic impact HS2 is possessing on Birmingham is testament to that.
HS2 underpins the future of all transport in the Midlands and tends to make the area far far more appealing to inward investors.
Collectively with plans from Transport for West Midlands to extend the Metro network by way of the city centre and beyond, and West Midlands Rail Executive’s 30-year vision to transform commuter solutions on the ever-well known Cross City line, the arrival of HS2 to the Midlands underpins the future of all transport plans in the Midlands and the North.
It really is a giant piece in the jigsaw that integrates our transport networks and aids unify the nation by bringing us all that bit closer with each other.
That jigsaw contains Midlands Connect’s personal flagship project, the Midlands Rail Hub, to drastically boost rail solutions across the area, which includes an added 20 trains an hour into and out of Birmingham to the East Midlands, Hereford and Worcester and the South West.
We’ll continue to use Birmingham and the West Midlands’ extraordinary renaissance as an exemplar of how placing transport at the heart of regeneration plans can reap rewards.
For hundreds of years, infrastructure has been central to our achievement story. It will stay so for the subsequent hundred, if we all pull with each other in the similar path.
Maria Machancoses is programme director for cross-regional transport physique Midlands Connect