The West Midlands already makes a substantial contribution to the UK economy and I welcome Mayor Andy Street’s blueprint to kickstart the economy and ensure that we play a critical role in achieving a strong national recovery.

Backed by the West Midlands Combined Authority Andy has put forward a blueprint to kickstart our regional economy.

He is seeking £3.2bn of investment over the next three years to boost recovery for local people and business, and make a step-change in tackling climate change. This builds on the previous strong performance of the region’s economy, as well as the £2.7bn of Government investment secured since 2017.

The plan proposes direct support to industry in three key areas alongside a commitment to invest in transport, housing and people, helping to drive a rapid economic recovery that will create or safeguard more than 135,000 jobs and build 35,000 new homes.

The three key business opportunities are:
· Creating green manufacturing jobs
· Turning HS2, Coventry City of Culture and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games into jobs for local people
· Investing in healthcare innovation, capitalising on our existing strengths as a centre for health research.

The plan also outlines the need to build better transport and digital links, including improved broadband and extending rail links – which are vital for us here in Aldridge-Brownhills. I am also pleased to see the plan proposes the regeneration of brownfield sites to build 35,000 new homes with the development of a new National Brownfield Institute helping us to protect our precious greenbelt.