A New Year’s message from Midlands Engine Chairman, Sir John Peace 

Date posted: January 10, 2024
Share
Sir John Peace

2024 is already well underway with a pace and intensity that signifies another momentous year ahead.  

What happens in the Midlands will be crucial to the UK’s political and business agendas, with elections on a local, regional and (most probably) national level taking place alongside a renewed drive to boost regional economic growth and investment. 

A look back on 2023 reveals how the work of our partners has already laid crucial groundwork for what’s to come, amidst the backdrop of a difficult economy. I was delighted to see many of these exceptional successes and opportunities for myself as I and colleagues met with partners across the region, from Walsall and Worcestershire, to Leicester and Lincoln, Shropshire and Stoke-on-Trent. 

Last summer, I was delighted to speak at the first Midlands Economic Summit, which brought together business people, economists and policymakers from across the country to discuss our region’s economic advancement. We also saw the founding of Midlands Nuclear, set up to ensure the Midlands shares in the benefits of new nuclear technology. Midlands Mindforge was established by our world-leading universities to scale-up their research work, and the Midlands Mental Health and Productivity Pilot was recognised to be a national leader on workplace wellbeing.  

These are, of course, only a select few of 2023’s numerous important and innovative initiatives – initiatives that, by working together in concerted and committed pan-regional partnership, we have been able to support and leverage, helping our region to counter another turbulent year with customary resilience, determination and innovation.  

In 2024, through continued and intensive collaboration, we have the opportunity to build on our work evidencing some of our region’s most significant challenges and opportunities, which last year saw the Partnership produce critical reports on topics such as business clusters, green jobs and an updated Midlands Investment Portfolio.   

I’m in no doubt that in these pivotal upcoming months, the work of Midlands Engine partners will become more important than ever. So too, will the need for collaboration and a strong regional voice.  

All the major political parties must now work to ensure that equitable devolution and funding plans for the UK’s regions is included in their manifestos, alongside measures to boost investment in our key sectors such as clean growth, advanced manufacturing, agri-tech, med-tech and life sciences. 

There is work for the rest of us, too, as regional businesses, organisations and citizens who are not beholden to the electoral cycle, to ensure that this is a year where we push harder than ever to unlock growth and strengthen our communities – to the benefit of everyone who is proud to call the Midlands home.  

Share

Keep Updated

Latest News & Events

close-up image of an electric car plugged into a charging point

Transport

Mar 1 2024

Consumer research shows lack of Electric Vehicle charge points a barrier for uptake

Consumer research conducted by Midlands Connect has shown a lack of EV charge points is a barrier for consumers choosing to purchase an EV and a hinderance for those who already own an EV.

Read more
a train in Nottinghamshire

Transport

Mar 1 2024

Work to deliver Midlands Rail Hub set to begin with £123 million

Millions of people will benefit from more frequent rail services from central Birmingham and upgraded stations across the Midlands.

Read more
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund II launches today (29th February) and will deliver £400 million of new funding to small and medium-sized businesses across the Midlands.

Economic Opportunities

Feb 29 2024

Midlands Engine Investment Fund II launches providing businesses with the funds to grow

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund II launches today (29th February) and will deliver £400 million of new funding to small and medium-sized businesses across the Midlands.

Read more
An electric vehicle charging

Subscribe to Midlands Matters, the newsletter of the Midlands Engine