Dudley is currently going through a major business regeneration scheme as outlined in the strategic plan.
There is a feeling that this is not the most dynamic local council when dealing with the concerns of local businesses.
Even in comparison with some of the other West Midlands authorities it seems business regeneration is fairly low down on the list of priorities.
There are some financial incentives to invest or relocate but not much for those of us who are already based in the area.
The seven local authorities in the West Midlands are coming together to combine their activities.
These moves are designed to drive the economy and co-coordinate major investment.
The local authorities of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton will be combining their resources.
The aim is that they will be working with business and developing the regional economy.
The future of Dudley print is largely dependent upon these new plans to try and make Dudley part of this proposed Midlands economic “powerhouse”.
This is a move to challenge the “northern powerhouse” being built up between Liverpool and Hull.
And also the continued growth and magnetism of London and the south-east.
The details of the scheme should be ratified by parliament by next April and we are investigating the impact it will have on Dudley print businesses.
The Black Country LEP combines Wolverhampton with Dudley and is looking to invest heavily in infrastructure and training.
The three key sectors where they will focus on will be the automotive, aerospace and construction industries.
In addition, Dudley aims to build on food and drink, transport technologies, environmental technologies and business services.
The aim is to create an additional 1,368 businesses per annum for the next 2o years.
At the moment the area has 29 businesses per 10,000 population and this is planned to increase to 41 businesses per 10,000 population by 2033.
The problems in the steel industry will be felt hard in the Dudley print area. The recent problems are reminders of the Round Oak Steel collapse some 40 years ago.
On a positive note that closure led to the creation of the Merry Hill shopping and office complex in Brierley Hill.
The area also has strong links to the automotive trades and there has been steady growth in this market that will spin-off to local Dudley print suppliers.
The Pensnett Estate is one of the largest trading estates in the UK where we have many customers and a there seem to be new companies moving in regularly.
The Hippodrome is due to be bulldozed but there is little appetite for commercial redevelopment that appealed to the council. They will leave the area as open land around the zoo and the Black Country Museum.
HS2 may not have a direct effect on the Dudley print market. The route is likely to favour the area to the east of the conurbation rather than the west.
However, the area offers opportunity for those Dudley print organisations willing to invest in the growing online print and digital print markets.
These are the markets showing growing potential.
For more details see our Dudley printing page or call 01384 376640.