West Midlands Printing
The West Midlands printing area covers Birmingham and the surrounding counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Staffordshire.
This area should be the main counter-balance to London and the South-East for economic concentration and regeneration.
The “Northern Powerhouse” has generated more investment and attention due to the co-operation between the various public bodies in the north.
However, there are some real advantages to develop the West Midlands printing region.
Following the decision to withdraw from the European Union and search for new markets abroad – this manufacturing heartland should become the focus for more investment and support.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) started operating on June 17 and here we look at the role of this “super council” to stimulate growth in the West Midlands printing area.
The Benefits of the WMCA
The West Midlands printing area will benefit from about £8billlion of extra funding in the next few years.
There is the promise of more to come if it is a success.
There are seven constituent authorities – Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
There are five non-constituent authorities: Cannock Chase, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Redditch, Tamworth, Telford & Wrekin.
The aim of this group is to make decisions currently taken by central government or by government agencies.
In broad terms they will take responsibility for economic growth, jobs, skills, transport and homes.
The West Midlands Printing Area
The central point for the West Midlands printing area is Birmingham.
The UK’s second city has been successful in certain aspects of economic development.
As a business located 12 miles from the city centre Direct2Print would benefit from these developments.
The result of the Referendum could create opportunities although the business environment will be difficult to predict in the next couple of years.
Key future projects for the West Midlands Printing area?
The HS2 growth strategy based upon a £4.4billion investment to create efficient transport links in the region is still likely to proceed.
An investment of £1billion to support businesses in the region and extra funding for housing, contaminated land regeneration and compulsory purchase powers to drive these developments.
Having looked at each of the main business areas there is still potential for economic growth in the West Midlands printing region.
In all, the future will be challenging but there should be opportunity in the fast growing digital and online printing sectors.
As a former strategic consultant advising on business development for companies of all sizes I would like to offer any free assistance and advice to customers and prospective customers.
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