Midlands Engine

Housing, Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th April 2018.

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Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Conservative, North East Derbyshire 12:00 am, 30th April 2018

What steps his Department is taking to deliver economic growth through the midlands engine.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Conservative, Walsall North

What steps his Department is taking to deliver economic growth through the midlands engine.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

In recent months, we have launched the £250 million midlands engine investment fund and agreed on a second devolution deal with the West Midlands combined authority.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Conservative, North East Derbyshire

I, too, congratulate the Secretary of State on his appointment. Does he agree that the right infrastructure must be provided to support the economic growth to which he has referred? Although he is new to his post, may I give a quick plug to a bid from my part of the world, north-east Derbyshire, for a housing infrastructure fund to regenerate the Staveley area further, and will he commit himself to reviewing that closely when he comes to make a decision?

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

Obviously, my hon. Friend’s particular focus is on Derbyshire. The right social and physical infrastructure is indeed vital to driving sustainable and significant housing growth, and the £5 billion housing infrastructure fund will unlock up to 600,000 homes. This is a competitive process, but I am committed to funding the projects that will have the greatest impact.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Conservative, Walsall North

The midlands seem to be leading the way in economic growth and job creation. Will the Secretary of State join me in celebrating, with Andy Street, the West Midlands combined authority and the midlands engine, the local achievement of 6.8% of gross value added, given that the national figure is 2.4%?

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

I will. Andy Street and the West Midlands combined authority have been pivotal to the success of the midlands engine. The number of businesses in the west midlands has increased by 9% since 2016, and its second devolution deal includes a £53 million allocation to prepare land and deliver jobs and housing throughout the Black country, including my hon. Friend’s constituency.