Andrew Mitchell MP welcomes boost for local jobs and growth

15th April 2011

Andrew Mitchell MP has welcomed this week’s announcement by the Government which sees five West Midlands projects benefit from some £450m of public funds to help drive economic growth and job creation in the local area.

Last autumn the Government launched the £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund designed to encourage sustainable economic development and jobs over three years by providing support for projects that offer significant long term potential for growth. This week the Government announced an initial conditional allocation of over £450m to 50 successful bids by companies and partnerships across the UK.

Five companies from the West Midlands were successful, and make up 8% of the total number of successful bids from across the UK. The West Midlands businesses to receive funds are: Alstom Grid UK, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce (on behalf of Birmingham City Council), Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd, Prince’s Regeneration Trust and Jaguar Land Rover.

As a result of this financial commitment from the Government, 6,193 jobs in the West Midlands will be directly created or safeguarded, with 34,699 supported indirectly through associated supply chains and local economies.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills received 72 bids from the West Midlands in total. The second round of the fund opened to new bids on Tuesday 12 April.

Andrew Mitchell MP said, “This is great news for the West Midlands and my constituency. Supporting job creation in the regional economy is vital if we are to drive growth in our local communities. This money will really help to create and safeguard many jobs in Sutton Coldfield and boost growth generally in the West Midlands which has been badly hit by the economic downturn.

“I am pleased to see so many local businesses submit ambitious and highly competitive bids to this first round of the Regional Growth Fund. Those that were successful demonstrated that they would create jobs in the private sector, in areas of deprivation and that are at risk of suffering from public sector cuts.”

A spokesman for Jaguar Land Rover said, “The conditional offer of funding for Jaguar Land Rover from the Regional Growth Fund is excellent news both for our business and the extended automotive industry in the UK.

“Jaguar Land Rover shares the Government\'s ambitions for the UK to become the leading European high-technology export economy and we plan to grow our advanced engineering and manufacturing capability through strategic partnerships with UK suppliers and educational establishments.

“The programmes supported by the RGF are part of the largest single expansion of research and development capacity in the history of Jaguar Land Rover and will significantly boost the whole of the UK automotive supply chain. The programmes will utilise high-technology design, research and engineering to develop a new generation of lighter vehicles and highly efficient powertrains.”