EU funding announced for West Midlands

Region given boost in European Parliament budget.

Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region is set to receive an EU funding boost of hundreds of millions of euros as MEPs in Strasbourg today signed off the EU’s long term budget for 2014-2020.

Despite a historic cut to the overall EU budget, the West Midlands region will benefit from over £765 million (€912 million) of European regional development and social funding (ERDF). Funding for transport infrastructure will double, with strategic rail corridors crossing our region in the running for £12.5 billion worth of funding for new or upgraded infrastructure.

Local universities and firms in the West Midlands region will also be able to apply for additional funding from EU programmes aimed at boosting jobs, entrepreneurship and innovation, including a new £2 billion fund dedicated to small businesses.

Amongst the projects earmarked for funding are £7.5 million ERDF towards the £18.2 million ‘Exceed’ programme of grants to help West Midlands businesses to expand and create extra jobs, £6 million to help create the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI) at Warwick University, helping local businesses access cutting edge technology, £3.1 million towards the development programme and refurbishment now underway at Coventry Transport Museum, £4 million for West Bromwich town centre regeneration and £4.2 million towards regenerating North Solihull with a further £1.3 million for the Strategic Cycle Network.

Since 2007 is it claimed that ERDF-backed projects in the West Midlands have created or saved almost 30,000 jobs and helped start up over 4,400 new businesses.