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Economic Growth: Midlands

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to ensure that the Midlands Engine policy focuses on the densely populated areas that surround big cities.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

As part of levelling up the regions the government is committed to a Midlands Engine Strategy to stimulate growth and increase productivity across the whole of the Midlands Engine region including densely populated areas that surround big cities. For example, we made commitments in the 2017 Midlands Engine Strategy to launch 5G tests beds to enhance digital connectivity in the region, including a Worcestershire test bed; to support the eight Enterprise Zones across the Midlands, including the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone in Staffordshire; and to allocate £392m of Local Growth Fund funding which is supporting a wide range of projects including £8.5 million for first phase improvements to the Hanley-Bentilee link road, and £6.9 million to support the formation of an Advanced Manufacturing Hub in Stoke and Staffordshire.

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