The LEP has been meeting today for its annual conference at the CBSO Centre in Berkley Street, Birmingham, where many of the region’s business, academic and public sector leaders have been setting out their vision for the growth of Greater Birmingham.
Guest speakers included David Grady, Chief Finance Officer of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, as well as GBSLEP Chair Tim Pile and Director Katie Trout.
David Grady spelt out the economic impact and legacy benefits of the Commonwealth Games and its ability to bring millions of visitors to the city as well as deliver a global TV audience of 1.5 billion.
Katie Trout outlined the LEP’s aim of improving the skills of people across the region by increasing those with an NVQ Level 3 or above by 40% by 2023. Katie also launched a new report: ‘A Toolkit for Smarter Cultural Investments in Our Towns, Cities and Regions’ and made an open call for partners to put forward proposals to support their towns and local centres with ambitious growth proposals.
The LEP is keen to support new projects that will lay the foundations to create towns and local centres of the future that will support businesses, visitors and residents and which create places people want to visit time and again.
As well as the annual conference, this week also saw the launch of the LEP’s annual report which reflects on more than 75 projects and £24.2 million of Local Growth Fund investment over the past year. The LEP has also launched its Business Support Forum and completed high profile public works such as the redevelopment of Centenary Square, which was partly funded by £10.55 million from the City Centre Enterprise Zone.
Last year the LEP cemented its place as the fastest growing Core City LEP in the country. Since 2010 the LEP has generated £800 million of additional economic activity and 160,000 new jobs accompanied by substantial rises in productivity and an uplift in quality of life for residents across Greater Birmingham.
This year also saw the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), a key part of the LEP’s support for financing local businesses, reach its first milestone, with investment in businesses across the Midlands reaching £25 million.
Talking about the conference, Tim Pile, Chair of GBSLEP, said:
“Today was a great opportunity to showcase the energy and activity around the work we are carrying out right across the geography of the LEP region and across our three key sectors encompassing the public, business and academic communities.
“With more than 300 people attending this morning it has been a great event for sharing ideas and best practice and for spreading energy across our region. The confidence in the room has been tangible, as has our ability to learn and shape the LEP’s agenda going forward.
“Our annual conference is a key opportunity to highlight our work and shine a light on the growth that is happening right now across the GBSLEP region. Today showed the lead we are taking to achieve exactly that.”
Copies of the GBSLEP annual report can be downloaded from the GBSLEP website.