£36m devolution investment for West Midlands

The West Midlands Combined Authority has received more than £36 million as part of the government's new devolution deal with the region.

The investment is a part of the region’s devolution deal, and will be the first of payments totalling £1.1 billion over the next 30 years. Signed in November last year, the deal gives local people a direct say over issues including transport and encouraging business innovation – decisions that were previously made in Whitehall.

Cllr Bob Sleigh, chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “The West Midlands is the manufacturing heartland of the UK and a dynamic exporter of high quality goods and services but we believe there is much economic growth that remains untapped.

“That’s why this payment marks the start of an exciting new era in which we will be far better equipped to build on our strengths, improve productivity and skills and deliver the transport infrastructure and new homes our region needs.

“It gives us the tools to drive forward the Midlands Engine, helping to unlock growth, jobs and prosperity and ultimately a better quality of life for the four million people of the West Midlands.”

Sajiid Javid, Communities Secretary, added: “The people of the West Midlands came up with a devolution deal which puts them in charge of driving growth and transforming local services.

“This £36.5 million boost is proof that we will equip them with what they need to fire up the Midlands Engine - the ability to boost long-term growth, create jobs, improve skills and invest in transport and innovation.”