Year of achievements celebrated at first Midlands Engine All-Party Parliamentary Group AGM

Date posted: May 20, 2021
a zoom call with fourteen attendees

Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Midlands Engine Champion) joined fellow parliamentarians and Midlands Engine Chairman Sir John Peace at the first Midlands Engine All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Annual General Meeting.

The Midlands Engine APPG is a cross-party forum for MPs and Peers based in, or with an interest in, the Midlands.

The group’s purpose is to champion the Midlands Engine in the UK Parliament, ensuring that investment in the Midlands is prioritised by Government, and work to level up the Midlands economy to improve quality of life for communities in every part of our region.

Joining the call, the Secretary of State spoke about the major opportunities for inward investment into our region including: two Freeports; the East Midlands Global Gateway at East Midlands Airport; and the Humber Ports Freeport in Immingham, Lincolnshire; in addition to the East Midlands Development Corporation.

The Midlands Engine Ministerial Champion also noted the relocation of several Government departments into the Midlands including his own department setting up a second headquarters in Wolverhampton, the Department of Transport creating a presence in Birmingham and the Home Office opening an Immigration Caseworking Innovation Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Secretary of State spoke of the intention to hold a future investment conference for our region in 2022, following on from the Midlands UK Forum for Growth, which took place in November 2020.

Reflecting on the APPG’s first year, Sir John Peace said:

It’s been a very successful twelve-month period and I would like to thank you all for what you’ve done to support investment into our region and to Lord Ravensdale and Darren Henry in particular – thank you for pulling this together so effectively.

The work that’s being done by the APPG in areas such as the visitor economy and energy show that there are so many areas of opportunity as we come out of this awful pandemic and look to economic growth going forward.

Alongside the interventions by the Secretary of State and Sir John Peace, the formal business of the group was concluded, including the appointment of the group’s officers.

Current Co-Chairs Darren Henry MP and Lord Ravensdale were reappointed for the coming year and will be joined by a number of Vice-Chairs including:

  • Theo Clarke MP
  • Kate Griffiths MP
  • Karl McCartney MP
  • Jane Stevenson MP
  • Martin Vickers MP
  • Baroness Burt of Solihull
  • Lord Coaker
  • Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
  • Lord Taylor of Holbeach
  • Baroness Verma of Leicester

MP for Nottingham South, Lillian Greenwood, elected to stand down from her position as a Vice-Chair. The group expressed their gratitude for her support and chairing of the APPG’s Transport sub-group over the past year.

The Midlands Engine APPG will continue to meet throughout 2021, with full meetings interspersed with separate, sub-group events that have a particular emphasis on topics such as energy, transport, skills and the visitor economy.

In addition to these meetings, our region’s parliamentarians are supporting the Midlands Engine through conversations with Government, questions in both Houses of Parliament and speaking in relevant debates to highlight the work of the Partnership.

The Midlands Engine continues to support the work of the APPG in achieving these aims.

For the latest on our region, subscribe to Midlands Matters, the official newsletter of the Midlands Engine.

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