The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership submitted its Strategic Economic Plan to Government on Monday 31 March, 2014, to secure funding from the Single Local Growth Fund.

The plan makes the case for a Black Country Growth Deal to secure additional funding and decision making freedom that will accelerate growth in high value manufacturing and specifically the aerospace, automotive and building technology sectors.

The Black Country Strategic Economic Plan proposes a Growth Deal programme for 2015 to 2016 to deliver:

  • 5,000 new jobs
  • 200 new private homes
  • 1,900 additional businesses helped to grow
  • 1,500 additional learners supported to develop skills needed by businesses

To achieve this in 2015 to 2016 the Black Country has bid for £56 million from the Single Local Growth Fund and an additional £5.7 million of its pre allocated Transport project funding. These combined investments will lever in an additional £41 million from other public sector organisations and £102 million from private sector investors, creating over £200 million investment for the Black Country.

This is a nationally competitive process and the Government will inform LEPs on the funding allocations in July 2014.

Stewart Towe, Chair of the Black Country LEP said: "The Black Country is uniquely placed to create new jobs in high value manufacturing; we have a strong manufacturing base, supply chain networks, businesses that export globally and a location at the heart of the UK transport network.

We believe our Growth Deal gives us the flexibility to address the barriers limiting business growth, including under investment in skills, accelerating businesses innovation, creating additional high quality employment sites, improving the housing mix and tackling traffic congestion.

We are confident that our growth plan will ensure we increase our competitive capability for many more products to be made in the Black Country and sold around the world."

The Minister for Cities, the Right Hon Greg Clark MP, said: "The Government welcomes the Strategic Economic Plan that the Black Country LEP has published and looks forward to continued engagement with local civic and business leaders over the next few months on the negotiation of their Growth Deal.

The Growth Deal provides a fantastic opportunity for the Black Country LEP to seek freedoms, flexibilities and influence over resources from government, and a share of the Local Growth Fund to put towards their the growth priorities set out in this Strategic Economic Plan. This provides the opportunity to unleash the ambition and creativity of the Black Country's local leaders, by devolving resource and responsibility in return for compelling local economic leadership in pursuit of growth. "

The Black Country Strategic Economic Plan, will be available to download from Tuesday 1 April on the LEP website, visit Type=links;Linkid=3262;Title=Black Country LEP;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Wednesday 2 April,2014