Powering the Midlands Engine

Dec 7, 2018

How to build a local Industrial Strategy

What can places across the Midlands do to improve local rates of productivity and prosperity?

Most countries have an unequal distribution of economic activity geographically, but Britain is unusual in how large this disparity is. A central goal of the Government’s Industrial Strategy is to use increased local control as a lever to reduce this disparity, letting local communities decide for themselves how they can best boost their productivity performance.

In this report, we use the Midlands region as a case study of the different approaches a Local Industrial Strategy might take in tackling its productivity challenges. While every area is different, the same tensions and common themes are likely to reoccur across the UK.

I welcome this important report from Policy Exchange. The report pinpoints the issues that hamper economic growth in the Midlands – for instance, a low skills base and a restrictive planning system – and puts forward innovative policy solutions to remedy them. I hope it is read widely across the region, not least by civic leaders in charge of writing local strategies, but also by business leaders too. 

It is on all of us to think about what can be done differently to deliver greater prosperity. The analysis and recommendations in this report show how we can begin to achieve that.

Lord Bilimoria

Founder and chairman of Cobra Beer and Independent Cross-Bench peer in the House of Lords

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