Midlands Engine

Housing, Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th June 2018.

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Photo of Jack Brereton Jack Brereton Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent South 12:00 am, 18th June 2018

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

Photo of Jake Berry Jake Berry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

We recently launched the £250 million midlands engine investment fund and agreed a second devolution deal with the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street. We have also given £4 million to the midlands engine partnership to support a range of economic activity, including that of our very important ceramic sector.

Photo of Jack Brereton Jack Brereton Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent South

I thank the Minister for that response. How best can we encourage new businesses into town centres in the midlands, like those in Longton and Fenton in my constituency, so we can see the revival of our high streets?

Photo of Jake Berry Jake Berry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The future health of our high streets is extremely important, which is why I am pleased to be able to announce today that my Department will launch a call for evidence over the summer looking at the future of our high street. We intend to establish an expert panel to diagnose the issues currently affecting the high street. I will be visiting my hon. Friend’s constituency shortly. I hope Longton and Fenton will make their voices heard.