WMCA welcomes Prime Minister’s praise for West Midlands

Potential of Midlands Engine backed by PM.

The West Midlands Combined Authority chairman has today welcomed warm words of support for the region from the Prime Minister.

WMCA chairman Cllr Bob Sleigh was responding to an article in a key Midland newspaper by PM Theresa May. Mrs May said the Midlands Engine would “unleash the region’s full potential”, adding: “It starts with ensuring the Midlands takes full advantage of its position at the crossroads of this country, so we can attract more investment.”

Cllr Sleigh said her message showed that the region was right on track to be a key player in rebalancing the UK economy. He said: “This is a significant announcement by the Prime Minister about rebalancing our whole economy.

“I am delighted that she recognises the value of what we are already doing here with the Midlands Engine – and the combined authority is key to forming and delivering that agenda. The unified, co-ordinated approach we are taking, particularly to economic growth, is key to this process going forward and delivering on some of our big ticket goals such as transport.”

The West Midlands Combined Authority will have control over issues including transport and encouraging business innovation – decisions that had previously been made in Whitehall.

In May, the people of the West Midlands will get to vote for a new mayor to preside over the region, and chair this powerful new organisation. The agreement with government will see it make an annual contribution worth £40 million for thirty years to support an overall investment package that will unlock £8 billion, alongside the creation of up to half a million jobs.