Delivering Advantage by gdf57j


									                  Delivering Advantage
                  The West Midlands Economic Strategy
                  and Action Plan 2004 – 2010

invest   work   learn         visit        live
2   |      Foreword

                                       Nick Paul, Chairman,                                           Bransby Thomas, Chair,
                                       Advantage West Midlands                                        West Midlands Regional Assembly

              The publication of Delivering Advantage is another milestone towards realising our Vision for the economic regeneration of
              the region and meeting the Government’s aim of improving the sustainable economic performance of all the English regions.

              We have a strong base to build on. The first ten-year West Midlands Economic Strategy Creating Advantage, was produced in
              1999 and was subsequently refocused by a three-year rolling Agenda for Action in 2001. A great deal has been achieved since
              1999 with partners across the region working together to turn the West Midlands Economic Strategy from words into action.

              Across a range of activity, partners in the West Midlands are increasingly co-ordinating their strategies and working together
              within the framework of the West Midlands Regional Concordat. Delivering Advantage forms part of this co-ordinated regional
              approach, which is designed to ensure the alignment of a variety of strategic frameworks, including: the emerging Regional
              Planning Guidance; the Regional Housing Strategy; the Regional Sustainable Development Framework; the Regional Cultural
              Strategy; and the Framework for Regional Employment and Skills Action. In fact, one of the real successes for this region has
              been the way the Regional Assembly, Advantage West Midlands, the West Midlands Local Government Association and other
              partners have ensured that Delivering Advantage and the emerging Regional Planning Guidance pull in the same direction.

              Extensive consultation in the spring and summer of 2003 has shown that partners and partnerships in the region believe that
              the direction set out in Creating Advantage in 1999 remains valid today, and that there is a strong consensus to maintain it in
              Delivering Advantage. The consultation also highlighted a consensus to focus on delivery, and for ownership and
              responsibility for delivery to be shared by all partners. Partners also recognised that this is a regional strategy, with many
              challenges for the region to rise to. This necessitates tough choices about where effort and resources should be concentrated.
              This Strategy makes those tough choices, by focusing intervention through three key delivery mechanisms – Regeneration
              Zones, Business Clusters and High Technology Corridors.

              The stakes are high. We estimate that nearly £100 billion of public sector resources will come into the region in the next five
              years. Of this sum around £20 billion is related to economic development. Within this figure £2 billion of Advantage West
              Midlands and European funding will achieve 160,000 new jobs, assist 64,000 businesses, provide 90,000 training places,
              bring 800 hectares of derelict land back into use and lever into deprived areas at least £400 million of private sector
              investment. We will work to ensure that as much funding as possible that comes into the West Midlands is aligned behind
              Delivering Advantage.

              The West Midlands has a great story to tell about partners working together to meet these challenges and to realise our
              shared Vision. Delivering Advantage sets out the next steps towards that Vision, and a robust framework within which the
              region can move forward on the basis of shared goals and clarity of purpose.

              Nick Paul, Chairman,                                          Bransby Thomas, Chair,
              Advantage West Midlands                                       West Midlands Regional Assembly
                                                                          Contents   |   3

                              Foreword                                        2

                              Executive Summary                               4

                         1.   The West Midlands Vision for 2010               10

                         2.   The Challenges the Region Faces                 14

                         3.   The Strategic Approach                          20

                         4.   Pillar 1 – Developing a Diverse and             24
                              Dynamic Business Base

                         5.   Pillar 2 – Promoting a Learning and             28
                              Skilful Region
The West Midlands
                         6.   Pillar 3 – Creating the Conditions              30
                              for Growth

                         7.   Pillar 4 – Regenerating Communities             34

                         8.   Providing a Powerful Voice for                  36
                              the Region

                         9.   Focusing Resources                              40

                        10.   The Role for Partners                           46

                        11.   Action Plan                                     52

                    Annex A   Measuring Progress and Impact                   68

                    Annex B   Assessment of Progress on Sustainability        72

                    Annex C   European and National Policy                    74
                              and Strategy Developments Impacting
                              on Delivering Advantage

                    Annex D   Linked Strategies and Associated Documents      76

                    Annex E   National and Regional Priorities for            78
                              Transport Investment

                    Annex F   Three Key Delivery Mechanisms                   80

                    Annex G   Sub-Regional Economic Partnerships              84
                              and Strategies

                    Annex H   West Midlands Regional Concordat Partners       86

                    Annex I   Glossary of Terms                               88
4   |   Executive Summary

         Executive Summary

         Delivering Advantage, the West Midlands Economic Strategy for 2004–2010, sets out a Vision for transforming the West Midlands
         into a world-class region by 2010. This is an ambitious Vision and all of us in the region face great challenges to realise it.
         The Strategy builds on the original West Midlands Economic Strategy (Creating Advantage) published in 1999, and the
         subsequent Agenda for Action (2001). It focuses on the delivery of key actions involving a wide range of partners all of whom are
         fully committed to working together and meeting the challenges before them.
         We estimate that nearly £100 billion of public sector resources will come into the region over the next five years. Of this total,
         around £20 billion will relate to economic development, to be spent by partners across the region. Imagine for a moment what we
         could achieve if the £20 billion is fully lined up behind this Strategy. We already know exactly what £2 billion of Advantage West
         Midlands and European funding will achieve. It will create 160,000 new jobs. It will assist 64,000 West Midlands’ businesses. It will
         give our people 90,000 of the training places they need. It will bring 800 hectares of derelict land back into use, and benefit our
         deprived areas with at least £400 million of private sector investment.
         That’s what £2 billion will do. Just think what £20 billion would do. It would realise our Vision.
         The following summarises Delivering Advantage – from the Vision, through the Strategic Approach, the Key Delivery Mechanisms,
         the Roles for Partners, to the Action Plan.

         1. The Vision for 2010
         The West Midlands is already a great place in which to invest,         The West Midlands has long been known as the
         work, learn, visit and live. It is a diverse region, in terms of its   manufacturing heartland of the UK and boasts globally
         landscape, its people and its culture. The urban buzz of the           recognised names like: Jaguar in Coventry; JCB at Uttoxeter;
         UK’s second largest city, Birmingham, contrasts with                   Bass at Burton upon Trent; Cadbury and MG Rover in
         unspoiled countryside such as the Malvern Hills, the Wyre              Birmingham; the Caudwell Group in Stoke-on-Trent; Land
         Forest, the Staffordshire Moorlands and the Shropshire and             Rover in Solihull; and Lea and Perrins in Worcester.
         Herefordshire Marches. Smaller cities and towns play an                However, traditional industries are now being complemented
         important role in both the regional and the local economies,           by emerging sectors such as media and medical
         while market towns in the rural parts of the region are the            technologies, fed by the 13 higher education institutions
         focal point for their surrounding area.                                throughout the region.
         Cultural sites are dotted around the region: Ironbridge Gorge          Now we must build on our proud past and realise our
         in Shropshire; Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford-upon-Avon;        potential for the future. We have set our sights high and
         Warwick, Kenilworth and Stokesay castles all display the               we are determined that the region will achieve its Vision for
         region’s rich history. In Birmingham, the Hippodrome theatre           2010 that “The West Midlands is recognised as
         and Symphony Hall attract national and international                   a world-class region in which to invest, work, learn, visit
         performers while the NEC and NIA host world championship               and live and the most successful in creating
         sporting events.                                                       wealth to benefit all of its people”.
                                                                                                                  Executive Summary     |   5

Invest:                                                             The West Midlands will be recognised as a region that
By 2010, the region will have a truly diverse and dynamic           encourages and strives for lifelong learning; and that
business base, differentiated from other regions by its ten         supports people in education throughout their lives and
Business Clusters. Manufacturing will be ‘future-proofed’           enables them to fulfil their potential. The quality of education
through modernisation and diversification programmes and the        on offer at every level will ensure that people want to learn in
region will once again be renowned for its innovative activity.     the West Midlands because it is a successful place to do so.
High technology, value-added businesses will be attracted to
invest in the region because of the ease of accessing finance       Visit:
and availability of incubator and grow-on space. Together with      By 2010, tourism will be recognised as one of the region’s
infrastructure improvements, this will ensure that companies        major economic drivers. There will be a wide range of the
want to come to – and stay in – a region providing an ideal         highest quality leisure and cultural experiences. The potential
business environment in which to flourish. Facilities such as       of renowned venues such as Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick,
Malvern Science Park (building on the world-class research          Ironbridge and Alton Towers will be maximised; while the
undertaken at QinetiQ, the former Ministry of Defence               promotion of lesser known attractions, particularly our
establishment) and Birmingham International Airport will play       market towns and villages, will be developed. We will build
a key role in this new business base.                               on Birmingham’s reputation for business tourism so that the
                                                                    West Midlands is the premier destination for business events
Work:                                                               in the UK. Our tourism offer will be underpinned by staff
By 2010, new and growing businesses in the region, across           skills training that will ensure an excellent visitor experience,
a range of industries, will provide an unrivalled choice of         resulting in a significant increase in visitor numbers, spend
employment and career opportunities. Fewer people will be           and longer-staying visitors.
out of work and equal opportunity for all will be a reality.
Graduates from the UK’s universities will want to build their       Live:
careers in the West Midlands because of the range of                By 2010, the region’s diversity, both geographic and cultural,
excellent opportunities open to them; this will expand the          will be recognised as providing a high quality, vibrant area in
region’s knowledge base. Trainers and business managers             which to live. The variety of locations, from rural and semi-
will equip their workforce with the skills needed for               rural to suburban and urban, will offer our citizens a choice
continued economic success. In particular there will be             of living to match their preference. Our urban areas will have
increased opportunities in the Black Country, North                 experienced notable economic, social and environmental
Staffordshire and Western Shropshire and Herefordshire.             improvements, resulting in more sustainable communities.
                                                                    The major challenges facing rural areas will be addressed by
Learn:                                                              strengthening and diversifying local economies.
By 2010, students from all educational institutions, at whatever    Communities in all areas of the region will be involved in the
level, will be highly skilled, qualified and enthusiastic about     decision-making process that affects their lives.
going on to work in the region. Increased linkage between
businesses and education will firmly embed entrepreneurship
into the working culture and ensure that best practice is shared.
6   |   Executive Summary

         2. The Challenges We Face as a Region

         Whilst the region’s economy has performed reasonably over the last four years, its relative economic position within the UK
         and Europe remains static. Our task must be to work in partnership to address factors inhibiting growth, and to build upon
         those areas where the West Midlands outstrips other regions.

         There are 13 challenges we must overcome as a region in order to make this happen. These have been grouped under the four
         original headings (the Pillars) of the West Midlands Economic Strategy, plus a new one, as shown below:

         To develop a diverse and dynamic business base                    To create the conditions for growth the challenges are:
         the challenges are:
                                                                           • Transport – to address the inadequacies of our transport
         • Enterprise – to increase and sustain employment and                infrastructure through partners developing innovative
            productivity by developing a world-class enterprise               ways to create the sustainable, world-class transport
            culture;                                                          system we need;

         • Manufacturing – to carry out the modernisation and              • Development Sites – to ensure that Regional Planning
            diversification essential in the manufacturing industry that      Guidance is implemented, so that sites are made
            forms the bedrock of our regional economy;                        available to meet the needs of business or reused for
                                                                              other purposes; and
         • Innovation – to build on the innovative potential of
            companies through increasing and exploiting research           • Housing – to link housing availability and quality to
            and development, promoting creative talent and                    employment opportunities.
            developing all aspects of an innovative and market-led
            culture;                                                       To regenerate communities the challenges are:
         • Environmental – to ensure that economic development
                                                                           • Economic Inclusion – to recognise widening differences in
            enhances and is enhanced by the environment; and
                                                                              economic performance and deprivation levels, to address
         • Visitor Economy – to develop our visitor economy as a              this issue in areas of the region experiencing social
            powerful force for economic development and for                   exclusion and underperforming economies, especially
            regeneration in urban and rural economies.                        North Staffordshire and the Black Country, and to ensure
                                                                              that everyone shares in created wealth; and
         To promote a learning and skilful region the challenge is:        • Demography – to ensure that changing demographic
         • Skills – to raise the basic and higher level skills in the         conditions in the region are used to benefit both
            region, to sustain and attract investment, thus narrowing         employers and the workforce.
            the gap with other regions and reducing differences
            within the region.                                             To provide a powerful voice for the region (the new
                                                                           heading) the challenges are:

                                                                           • International – to take advantage of opportunities
                                                                              available in an international context (particularly from
                                                                              European Union Community Initiatives), whilst being
                                                                              aware of the competitive challenges these present; and

                                                                           • Image – to create a positive image of the region and to
                                                                              improve the way it markets itself to target audiences.
                                                                                                                   Executive Summary     |   7

The Priorities                                                      The Strategy has three key principles: a commitment to
                                                                    sustainable development; a commitment to equality, diversity
Five challenges have been given the highest priority, because       and economic inclusion; and a commitment to ensure that
we believe that they are the ones that if met will make the         this Strategy links with and underpins other strategies and
greatest difference to achieving the Vision. They are:              policies which are delivering across the region.

• The Enterprise Challenge – because an enterprise                  The Strategy is for the whole region, but a specific focus
   culture is critical to a successful region. This must have a     has been given to show how it delivers in the rural areas
   strong focus on young people, as they are crucial to the         of the region.
   future prosperity of the region;
                                                                    4. Pillar 1 – Developing a Diverse and
• The Manufacturing Challenge – because manufacturing
                                                                    Dynamic Business Base
   is vitally important to the region’s economy yet is
   experiencing falling employment and low productivity.            This Pillar drives modernisation and diversification of the
                                                                    region’s businesses to ensure that the West Midlands
   Modernisation and diversification are essential if we are to
                                                                    experiences: flourishing enterprise; growth through innovation;
   build upon our historical base and increase employment
                                                                    use of new technology; and success within the global
   and productivity;
                                                                    marketplace. To facilitate this, Pillar 1 demands that partners
• The Skills Challenge – because the region is failing to           work together to improve our enterprise and manufacturing
   fully equip all of its people with the skills they require and   performance by providing better access to finance, developing
                                                                    the knowledge economy, increasing international engagement,
   to provide employers with the skilled workforce they need;
                                                                    and developing both our environmental economy and our
• The Transport Challenge – because the transport system            visitor economy. Tailored solutions will be developed where
  in the region is inadequate for our present economy, let          they are required – in particular for rural areas.
  alone the world-class economy we aspire to be. Partners in
  the region believe that the West Midlands will never achieve
                                                                    5. Pillar 2 – Promoting a Learning and Skilful Region
  its potential unless this challenge is addressed; and
                                                                    This Pillar drives the development of a highly skilled,
• The Economic Inclusion Challenge – because
                                                                    innovative and adaptable workforce which attracts and
  differences in economic performance within the region
                                                                    supports the growth of high value jobs and wealth creating
  are growing, and must be addressed so that all who live
                                                                    businesses. This will increase income levels across the
  and work here share in the wealth created.
                                                                    workforce, and ensure that everyone has the relevant skills
                                                                    to take advantage of job opportunities – whether in
3. The Strategic Approach                                           deprived parts of major urban areas, or remote rural
The approach in this updated Strategy has been shaped               communities. To facilitate this, Pillar 2 demands that
following widespread consultation with partners across the          partners tackle the basic skills gap by developing workforce
region. The consultation provided strong confirmation that the      skills, improving leadership and management skills,
direction set out in Creating Advantage in 1999 remains valid.      developing an enterprise and entrepreneurship culture
                                                                    and expanding higher level skills.
The region adopted the four main headings (or Pillars) as set
out in Creating Advantage. These Pillars are a well-
                                                                    6. Pillar 3 – Creating the Conditions for Growth
established regional tool and continue to provide the engine
for Delivering Advantage.                                           This Pillar drives investment by private firms and individuals and
                                                                    the development of a world-class infrastructure. To facilitate
Partners have also agreed on the importance of ‘Providing a
                                                                    this, Pillar 3 ensures that partners seek innovative ways to
Powerful Voice for the Region’. It is vital that we bang the
                                                                    transform our transport system – to ensure it provides access
drum for the West Midlands loud and clear, communicating
                                                                    to opportunity in both urban and rural areas, develop a better
our aspirations to everyone within the region and engaging
                                                                    ICT infrastructure, deliver good quality development sites and
with and influencing decision makers in London and
                                                                    buildings, develop a housing agenda for economic growth and
Brussels together with major players in the global economy.
                                                                    ensure sustainable use of natural resources.
Together, the four Pillars and Powerful Voice chapters of the
Strategy set out the way in which partners have created a
clear, precise approach and formulated policy which
specifically addresses the challenges we face.
8   |   Executive Summary

         7. Pillar 4 – Regenerating Communities                                                     8. Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region

         This Pillar drives the actions to counter unemployment, poor                               The region must develop a coherent approach to
         skills, low income, poor housing, high crime rates, poor                                   communicating its strengths, opportunities and needs, and
         quality environment and all areas of economic inclusion.                                   to ensure that we are heard and understood both within
         These actions will also exploit the opportunities within our                               and outside the West Midlands. To achieve this, partners
         communities, particularly responding to the changing                                       must improve the region’s image and marketing by creating
         demographics across the region. To facilitate this, partners                               an intelligence base to inform policy and also engage with
         will link opportunity to need, and develop capacity and                                    partners in the UK and Europe together with major players
         sustainability for our communities.                                                        in the wider international economy.

                                                                                                                                                              Transport technologies
                                                                                                                                                               Building technologies
                                                                                                                                                                  Food and drink
                                                                                                                                                                Tourism and leisure
                                                                                                                                                           High value-added consumer
                                                           Wolverhampton to
                                                           Telford Corridor

                                                                                                                                                            Specialist business and
                                                                                                                                                             professional services
                                                                          Central Technology Belt
                                                                                                        Coventry, Solihull,
                                                                                                                                       Growing           Information and communication
                                                                                                        Warwickshire Corridor
                                                                                                                                                          Environmental technologies

                                                                                                                                                           Screen and new media for
                                                                                                                                Embryonic/Aspirational    education and entertainment
                                                                                                                                                             Medical technologies

                   Regeneration                                                High Technology                                                           Business
                   Zones                                                       Corridors                                                                 Clusters

         9. Key Delivery Mechanisms

         To ensure that the four Pillars drive the region’s actions and responses effectively and with the greatest impact, Advantage
         West Midlands made the tough choice to focus its efforts on three agreed Key Delivery Mechanisms: Regeneration Zones;
         Business Clusters; and High Technology Corridors. These three are now the agreed focus for all partners.

         Regeneration Zones raise employment levels, increase                                       Ten Business Clusters are supported through Cluster
         business activity and improve the quality of life in the most                              Opportunity Groups led by the region’s business people.
         deprived areas of the region by strengthening links between                                By 2010, focused programmes should create or improve the
         areas of need and areas of opportunity. We have one rural                                  performance of over 15,000 businesses.
         and five urban Regeneration Zones, which cut across
                                                                                                    High Technology Corridors offer existing businesses
         administrative boundaries. Programmes in the Zones take a
                                                                                                    opportunities to modernise and diversify, and attract and
         long-term approach of ten to fifteen years, but by 2010, over
                                                                                                    develop new high-tech, high value-added businesses using
         80,000 jobs should be created through targeted funding.
                                                                                                    existing research institutions, the shared knowledge pool of
         Business Clusters improve collaboration between                                            our universities, and property opportunities such as incubator
         companies in the same field, and improve access to new                                     and ‘grow-on’ space. Three High Technology Corridors are
         technologies, research and development, targeted business                                  under development by sub-regional partnerships, and the
         support and supply chains, and shared expertise.                                           projects already agreed should bring in over £20 million of
                                                                                                    private sector investment over the next seven years.
                                                                                                                   Executive Summary      |   9

10. The Role for Partners                                          11. Action Plan

Partnership is crucial to the delivery of this Strategy.           The Action Plan shows 45 actions agreed by partners to
Partnerships are co-ordinated through the Regional                 ensure delivery of the Strategy under the four Pillars and
Concordat, a commitment overseen by the Regional                   ‘Powerful Voice for the Region’. The actions set out the next
Assembly. This co-ordination provides a framework for              steps over three years, and specify which regional
partnership working between all regional organisations and         partnership body or individual partner is taking responsibility
for the integration of regional strategies.                        for leading their implementation. The Action Plan also sets
                                                                   out how we will continuously evaluate actions and measure
Many organisations and sectors play key roles in delivering
                                                                   progress to ensure that partners’ shared efforts are making
this Strategy. From village schools to our largest universities,
                                                                   the difference we all want to see.
from the smallest volunteer group to the Regional Assembly,
from our most successful business people and entrepreneurs
to those seeking to gain basic skills – each and every one of      12. Getting the Job Done
us has a part to play. And, by working together - individuals
and large organisations, government offices and private            The West Midlands has a great story to tell. It’s a story about
sector companies, students and employers - each and                partners working hard together to realise a shared Vision for
every one of us will benefit from the wealth created.              the future. We who live and work in the region know that it is
                                                                   a great place to be. We also know that it has huge untapped
We estimate that £100 billion of public sector resources           potential. Delivering Advantage provides a robust framework
will come into the region over the next five years – around        and the engines needed to drive the region forward. By
£20 billion directly for economic development.                     making tough choices, sharing goals and maintaining clarity of
                                                                   purpose, partners will fully utilise this region’s great potential -
The West Midlands Economic Strategy, aligned with
                                                                   and we will realise our Vision for 2010.
Regional Planning Guidance, provides the best strategic
framework within which sustainable improvement to
economic performance and quality of life can be achieved.
It is vital that we work together to achieve synergy between
funding streams and strategies. Our first objective is to
ensure that the £20 billion is aligned behind this Strategy.
Our second objective is to have more than that £20 billion
supporting economic development. If we can fulfil these
objectives we will be able to realise our Vision for 2010.
10   |   The West Midlands Vision for 2010

          1. The West Midlands Vision for 2010

          1.1   “ The West Midlands is recognised as a World Class region in which to invest, work, learn, visit        “
                 and live and the most successful in creating wealth to benefit all of its people.
          This Vision for the region’s economic strategy has been honed and refined by many suggestions and ideas raised during consultation
          events across the West Midlands. It is an ambitious Vision, which ensures that we set our sights high and do not settle for mediocrity.

          1.2 A proud base to build from

          The West Midlands is already a great place in which to                Traditional manufacturing industries, like engineering, and
          invest, work, learn, visit and live. It is a diverse region and       service industries such as tourism are being supplemented by
          has been described as a “complex and beautiful mosaic”.               emerging industries, such as media and creative industries.
          At its heart is Birmingham, our international city, which             Half a million people are in education at our 13 higher
          provides facilities and services for all of the region.               education institutions and 66 colleges of further education.
          Birmingham plays a key role for the network of towns and
                                                                                The next sections look at the constituent parts of the Vision,
          cities across the region and will continue to be developed
                                                                                and set out a view of how the region might look in 2010 if
          as a major city of European and world standing. Our other
                                                                                good progress is made.
          towns and cities each play an important role in the region
          and in their respective sub-regions, and their centres are
          major drivers for local economies. Many, such as Stafford,
          Worcester and Warwick provide important links between
          urban and rural areas. In particular market towns in rural
          areas, like Leek, Evesham, Leominster and Oswestry, are
          the focal point for a wide surrounding area.

          The region’s globally renowned names, industries and
          attractions reflect the diversity of our towns and cities:
          Jaguar (Coventry); Land Rover (Solihull); JCB (Uttoxeter);
          Bass (Burton-upon-Trent); Muller Yoghurts (Market Drayton);
          Tarmac (Wolverhampton); the Caudwell Group (Stoke-on-
          Trent); Cadbury and MG Rover (Birmingham); the Royal
          Shakespeare Company (Stratford-upon-Avon); and Lea and
          Perrins (Worcester). The region is responsible for over a
          quarter of all UK exports. More than half of the new patents
          registered in the UK come from the West Midlands.
                                                                                             The West Midlands Vision for 2010   |   11

1.3 Invest West Midlands

By 2010, the region will boast a truly diverse and integrated   The region will be on the way towards having a fully
business base. Built on the best of the West Midlands’          integrated transport infrastructure both within and through
industrial heritage, it will be ‘future-proofed’ through        the West Midlands. Rail delays will have been reduced
programmes of modernisation and diversification, and            following track and station improvements and passenger
underpinned by an unrivalled innovation culture. Ten            numbers will be increasing. Improved public transport
Business Clusters will play a key role in the region’s          networks in both urban and remote rural areas will mean
economy and differentiate the West Midlands from other          better access to opportunity for those seeking work. An
regions. Private sector businesses will enjoy the bottom-line   expanded and truly international airport in Birmingham will
benefits of being part of these clusters. They will be aware    be playing its part.
that our transport, ICT and property infrastructure is
improving and will be able to see how that infrastructure is,
or soon will be, effectively supporting their business needs.
There will be appropriate sources of finance available to
them and they will have confidence in the support available
to help them grow. The region’s three High Technology
Corridors will help to make the West Midlands a preferred
location worldwide for technology-led and high value-added
businesses attracted by the prospect of high returns on
investment. Provision and facilities such as Malvern Science
Park (building on the world-class research undertaken at
QinetiQ, the former Ministry of Defence establishment) and
Birmingham International Airport will assist these
businesses. Companies will invest here because they are
confident of success.
12   |   The West Midlands Vision for 2010

          1.4 Work West Midlands                                             1.5 Learn West Midlands

          By 2010, new and growing businesses across wide a                  By 2010, schools will produce highly qualified and motivated
          range of industries will provide an unrivalled choice of job       students and the gap between poorly performing schools
          opportunities and career progression. The gap between              and those implementing nationally recognised, successful
          successful businesses and those at a lower level of                pilot projects will steadily close as tried and tested education
          achievement will have narrowed for all parts of the economy.       projects are rolled out across the region. An ongoing ‘hearts
          Social enterprises will flourish and become more effective         and minds’ campaign by schools, higher and further
          as businesses and employers.                                       education institutions and business will enthuse a new
                                                                             workforce to the benefits of working in West Midlands
          Diversification of the rural economy will be bringing greater
                                                                             businesses. Students with high aspirations will value the
          opportunity for all, and market towns will be showing strong
                                                                             acquisition of transferable skills and the wide range of
          signs of renaissance. Farmers will have responded positively
                                                                             revitalised manufacturing industries and entrepreneurial
          to Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms and will have
                                                                             businesses ready and waiting to employ them.
          also responded to encouragement to fully explore the
          potential for growing non-food crops for energy, industrial        By 2010, our universities and other higher education
          and pharmaceutical uses. The region’s knowledge base and           institutions will fulfil their roles effectively and efficiently.
          creative talent will have expanded as more graduates from          Those with world-class faculties and departments will work
          the UK’s universities and colleges have taken their first jobs     alongside specialist teaching universities to ensure that local
          here, in response to the range of opportunities and future         students receive the best education possible. Meanwhile our
          prospects available in the region. In particular there will be     colleges and schools will successfully support the provision
          a wider range of opportunities in the Black Country, North         of skills demanded by the region’s ten Business Clusters.
          Staffordshire and Western Shropshire and Herefordshire.            Universities, colleges and schools will utilise advice and
                                                                             experience from the business sector as all elements join
          Trainers and business managers, working together, will
                                                                             together to work in partnership. Many of our educational
          be equipping the existing and future workforce with the
                                                                             institutions will have collaborative ventures with business.
          skills they need to fuel continued economic success.
                                                                             The region will be attracting high numbers of ‘young
          Manufacturing output will have increased, fewer people
                                                                             entrepreneurs’ – students who establish and grow their own
          will be out of work, equal opportunity for all will be a reality
                                                                             businesses with the support of regional venture capital. The
          and the quality of jobs will be improved. Employment
                                                                             West Midlands will be recognised for an approach to lifelong
          stability will mean that people want to work here. All
                                                                             learning where schools, colleges, universities and employers
          employers will recognise, and be taking advantage of,
                                                                             work together to support our people throughout their lives,
          the increased numbers of older people with a wide range
                                                                             and assist everyone to reach their full potential. People will
          of skills and experience. Young people, especially those
                                                                             choose to learn in this exciting and successful region.
          from ethnic minorities, will provide new impetus for the
          potential workforce, as their skills and perspectives are
          integrated into all sections of business.
                                                                                                       The West Midlands Vision for 2010     |   13

1.6 Visit West Midlands                                               1.7 Live West Midlands

By 2010, tourism will be recognised as one of the region’s            By 2010, the West Midlands will be catering for all tastes
major economic drivers, seen as adding real value to the              and lifestyles. The region will have developed further its
regional economy. We will have developed our tourism                  world-class art collections, theatre companies and
products and services, and involved our unique multi-cultural         orchestras. A truly multicultural, ethnically diverse society
society, to provide high quality tourism, leisure and cultural        will bring vibrancy and dynamism to life across the region as
facilities and services. Nationally and internationally the           different ethnic and social groups utilise their skills and
region will be seen as culturally distinctive and ‘tourist            contribute to and share the wealth of the region. Our rich
friendly’. Our accommodation will be of high quality, our             geographical diversity, from unspoilt, remote countryside (like
retail outlets excellent and the region will be perceived as          the Shropshire Hills), thriving and well-designed towns and
an exciting, safe, sophisticated place to visit.                      cities and the internationally recognised city of Birmingham
                                                                      will give the region unique strengths. This wide variety of
Investment in our internationally recognised destination
                                                                      locations, from rural and semi-rural to suburban and urban,
brands, such as: Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick; the
                                                                      will offer our citizens a valuable choice of locations for living,
World Heritage Site at Ironbridge; Alton Towers in
                                                                      whether they prefer village, market town or city life.
Staffordshire; the Cotswolds; and the international city of
Birmingham with its vibrant night life, regenerated canals,           Major urban areas will have experienced substantial economic,
conference and sporting facilities, will attract tens of              social and environmental improvements, resulting in more
thousands of additional leisure visitors from across the globe.       sustainable communities. Rejuvenated city, town and local
We will benefit from investment in, and the marketing of: new         centres throughout the region will offer their communities high
leading brands; the leisure value of our cities (Birmingham,          quality services and promote social cohesion. The major
Wolverhampton, Worcester, Hereford, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent          challenges facing rural areas and their traditional roles will be
and others); and our countryside, industrial and market               addressed through the strengthening of local economies.
towns and villages in the Shires. The basis for this offer            Agriculture will still be an important facet of rural economies,
will be a high quality environment with an exciting range             with farmers dealing directly with specialist markets and fulfilling
of visitor activities and opportunities for informal recreation.      their roles effectively as protectors and enhancers of
In business tourism we will be regarded as the premier region         environmental assets. New housing and wide-ranging
for business events in the UK – building on the position of           community facilities will have been developed to meet local
Birmingham and its NEC group facilities as an internationally         needs in rural areas, and all communities, whether urban or
recognised centre of excellence.                                      rural, will be taking part in the decision-making processes that
                                                                      affect lives. The region will be recognised for its outstanding
The region will have learned how to present itself expertly
                                                                      quality of life and opportunities.
as a leisure destination to a wide-ranging market in the full
knowledge of what it has to offer. Visitor numbers will be up
as more and more business people extend their stay or return
                                                                      1.8 Conclusion
for leisure trips, and family and friends visit frequently to enjoy
our facilities. Through a comprehensive programme of                  Having set out where the region wants to be by 2010 we
specialist business advice services and training for employees        need to identify what needs to be done to get there. This
in the catering and hospitality industries delivered by the           requires an understanding of where we are now. Chapter 2
innovative ‘Quality at Heart’ initiative, the West Midlands will      looks at the region’s economy and identifies the key
become the first region in the UK to establish a regional             challenges the region faces and needs to respond to if
quality mark for service excellence. People will want to come         we are to achieve our Vision.
here because it’s an exciting, interesting place to be.
14   |   The Challenges the Region Faces

          2. The Challenges the Region Faces

          2.1 Introduction
          To realise our Vision requires us to work together to a shared agenda. What are the challenges all partners in the region face? This
          chapter analyses the region’s economy and identifies the key challenges that must be overcome to achieve all elements of the Vision.
          The challenges do not stand in isolation and therefore are grouped and linked here under the four headings (the Pillars) the region has
          used to develop its Economic Strategy over the last four years, plus a new one as shown below.
          The West Midlands economy has performed reasonably over the last four years, but our relative position in the UK and the EU
          has not changed. This is not good enough.
          Projections suggest that without the intervention of this Strategy, the West Midlands will remain static:
          • The region will perform at or close to the UK average in Gross Value Added (GVA) and employment terms, resulting in relatively
            little net employment creation in the region; and
          • Unemployment is expected to rise.
          Our challenge is to work in partnership to remove obstacles to growth and build on successful areas to raise the growth rate of
          GVA per capita above the national average – thus placing the region significantly higher up the European league table and ensuring
          that it is recognised as world class.

          2.2 Challenges for Developing a Diverse and Dynamic Business Base

          The Enterprise Challenge                                              The Manufacturing Challenge
          • The region is ranked only fifth in the UK in respect of             • The West Midlands is the heart of UK manufacturing.
            business start-ups, and self-employment is below national             Manufacturing makes a larger contribution to our
            average. This overall regional performance obscures                   economy than it does in any other UK region. Over
            important differences within the region, where rural areas            20% of West Midlanders in employment work in the
            in particular experience higher levels of self-employment             manufacturing sector, compared with just over 15%
            and business start ups, but lower wage levels;                        nationally. It is also fundamental to the culture and
          • Currently many businesses of all sizes have no idea what              social fabric of many areas;
            is on offer in terms of support and have no relationship            • However, employment continues to decline in
            with the complex pattern of business support agencies                 manufacturing, especially in low value-added sectors, and
            available to them;                                                    sectors facing low-cost overseas competition or over-
          • There are significant gaps in access to finance for                   capacity in international markets. On average, productivity
            business start-up, growth, restructuring and transition for           rates in our manufacturing sector are low by UK standards
            the range of businesses from the very small to those in               and even further behind many European countries; and
            the middle market; and                                              • Our challenge with manufacturing is to ensure that low
          • Our challenge is to work together to create an enterprise             value-added sectors modernise and move up the value
            culture that looks outward to current and potential markets.          chain and the region as a whole must diversify into more
                                                                                  high-technology based activity.
                                                                                                        The Challenges the Region Faces   |   15

The Innovation Challenge                                                The Visitor Economy Challenge

• The region has a strong heritage of innovation, and a                 • The region has a robust, diverse visitor economy which
   well-developed support network for companies. The West                  provides a valuable springboard for growth. The business
   Midlands is at the top of the league of innovating regions,             tourism market is strong and we have a wide range of
   with 52% of companies reporting innovative activity;   1
                                                                           internationally and nationally recognised leisure tourism
                                                                           attractions. Opportunities abound to provide diverse
• However, we lag well behind London, the South East and
                                                                           cultural experiences: 32,000 listed buildings; many
   the East in terms of research and development in
                                                                           historic houses and parks; major sporting facilities; and a
   business, government and higher education; and
                                                                           wide-ranging rural tourism product, including many
• Our challenge is to build on our companies’ innovative                   attractive market towns;
   potential by working together to increase and exploit
                                                                        • The visitor economy has been growing strongly in the
   research and development, promoting creative talent and
                                                                           region with a net growth of 23,000 jobs from 1995 to
   developing an innovative and market-led culture. Success
                                                                           2002. In 2002 the visitor economy generated over
   will be measured by further improvement in the number
                                                                           £6 billion for the region;
   of businesses which successfully innovate.
                                                                        • The visitor economy comprises 28,000 businesses, most
The Environmental Challenge                                                of them small. The challenge for these businesses is to
                                                                           improve the quality of their product and their marketing,
• Our environmental economy is large and diverse.
                                                                           and to address weaknesses in the skills of the workforce
   We estimate it employs more than 90,000 people in
                                                                           to meet sophisticated market needs; and
   the private, public and voluntary sectors;
                                                                        • Our challenge is, through partnership, to develop our
• Increased environmental performance has proved cost
                                                                           visitor economy as a powerful force for economic
   effective for business;
                                                                           development and for regeneration in urban and rural
• A high quality environment is vital for tourism development,             economies. Success will be measured by increased
   inward investment and overall quality of life; and                      visitor numbers, spend and length of stay in the region.

• Our challenge is to work together to utilise available
   opportunities to ensure that economic development
   enhances, and is in turn enhanced by, the environment.

   1 European Commission ‘Community Innovation Survey – Innovative Activity.’
16   |   The Challenges the Region Faces

          2.3 Challenges for Promoting a Learning and Skilful Region         2.4 Challenges for Creating the Conditions for Growth

          • The region is failing to provide appropriate skills for its      The Transport Challenge
            people. It has persistently been at the bottom of the
                                                                             • Despite a pivotal position in the national network providing
            national table on basic skills – 12% of the workforce have         significant location advantages, inadequacies in the
            no qualifications at all, with particular problems in parts of     region’s transport infrastructure have a major negative
            Stoke-on-Trent, the Black Country, Birmingham, North               impact on the regional economy, and adversely affect the
            Solihull, and Coventry (i.e. virtually every urban area in the     choices people make about where to live and work;
            region); the West Midlands has consistently been ranked
                                                                             • Traffic congestion is a fact of daily life in all main urban areas,
            as the lowest achieving English region in terms of NVQ
                                                                               with conditions throughout the day increasingly reflecting
            level 2 qualifications;
                                                                               those of peak hours, a situation exacerbated by inadequate
          • Skills levels are low just as a changing economic structure        public transport. Congestion in the West Midlands ‘motorway
            is accelerating the need for adaptation and improvement.           box’ (M6/M42 and M5) is now a national issue with extensive
            Major skills gaps in management development and                    delays increasingly commonplace;
            leadership have been identified across all sectors – private,
                                                                             • Accessibility to, and within, rural parts of the region,
            public and voluntary – of the regional economy;                    especially the west, is poor;
          • The performance of the education system and young                • Birmingham New Street Station is constrained by line and
            people’s qualification levels vary widely across the region.       platform capacity and there are capacity constraints on
            The overall percentage of our young people gaining five            the West Coast Main Line, particularly the two-track line
            good GCSEs, 48% (2002), is lower than the national                 between Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton; and
            average of 52%;
                                                                             • Our challenge is, through close and energetic
          • Only 28% of our young people move on to higher                     partnership, to find innovative solutions, and create a
            education. The national target is 50% by 2010. Fewer               safe, sustainable, world-class transport system which
            than half of first degree graduates entering employment            supports our regional economy.
            from our 13 higher education institutions remain in the
            West Midlands; and                                               The Development Sites Challenge
          • Our challenge is for all partners to address these               • Only 39% of the region’s land stock for future
            significant weaknesses, to narrow the gap with other               employment use is currently available to companies
            regions, to reduce differences within the region, and,             and there are significant gaps in the availability of
            having trained employees, to encourage them to stay in             large sites across the region;
            the region rather than lose their skills.
                                                                             • Almost half of the region’s employment land has remained
                                                                               undeveloped for more than five years; and

                                                                             • Our challenge is to ensure that Regional Planning
                                                                               Guidance is implemented and sites are made available to
                                                                               meet the needs of business and to increase investment.

                                                                             The Housing Challenge

                                                                             • Changing household needs and sizes require adjustment to
                                                                               housing stock to provide a full range of housing choice
                                                                               across the region. Parts of the region currently have poorly
                                                                               performing markets leading to migration, particularly in parts
                                                                               of Birmingham, the Black Country and Stoke-on-Trent;

                                                                             • Some housing stock now fails to link with employment
                                                                               opportunities, and there is a shortage of affordable
                                                                               housing, particularly in the rural west and south east of
                                                                               the region; and

                                                                             • Our challenge is to work together to link housing quality
                                                                               and availability to employment opportunities.
                                                                                                  The Challenges the Region Faces   |   17

2.5 Challenges for Regenerating Communities

The Economic Inclusion Challenge                                  The Demographic Challenge

• The West Midlands is a region of contrasts with huge            • Changes in the region’s population over the next few
  variations in affluence between communities, each                 years will impact hugely on the employment base and
  requiring a specific approach;                                    may lead to growth in our Clusters being stalled by a
                                                                    lack of skilled employees;
• Of the region’s 789 wards, 69 (19% of the region’s
  population) are within the most deprived 10% in England;        • By 2010 more than half our workforce will be aged over
                                                                    50. Without educating employers on the potential offered
• Parts of Warwickshire, Coventry, Solihull and Birmingham
                                                                    by older workers, there will be large numbers of
  have seen rapid growth in development, activity and
                                                                    experienced, skilled people who are not working;
  productivity. The majority of the rest of the region has also
  enjoyed some growth, but North Staffordshire and the            • Forecasts anticipate that within Birmingham and the Black
  Black Country have lagged significantly behind;                   Country, growth in the BME population will change both
                                                                    the overall age profile of the workforce and the perceptions
• Rural areas have experienced declining agricultural
                                                                    and requirements of all sectors of local economies. This
  employment. While there has been some growth in
                                                                    Strategy must ensure that recruitment and training policies
  employment in services, there remains a lack of sufficient
                                                                    meet this changed demographic profile;
  variety and quantity of jobs or affordable housing to retain
  young people;                                                   • The number of refugees in the West Midlands (those
                                                                    having been granted permission to remain) is estimated to
• Sub-regional variations and trends are forecast to continue
                                                                    be around 50,000. This number is set to increase over the
  – with the Black Country and North Staffordshire
                                                                    next few years, providing both opportunities for employers
  experiencing relatively low levels of productivity growth.
                                                                    to take advantage of a pool of highly skilled workers and
  The centre and south east of the region are expected to
                                                                    challenges for statutory agencies and others engaged in
  experience the greatest productivity improvement;
                                                                    community regeneration; and
• Alongside spatial diversity there is also diversity within
                                                                  • Our challenge is for all partners to fully embrace these
  communities. Some 10% of our population are members
                                                                    demographic trends, and work together to ensure that they
  of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and over
                                                                    are utilised to benefit our employers and our workforce.
  50% of the population of some wards belong to BME
  groups. Ethnic minority groups are over-represented within
  the most deprived areas, and employment in some
  minority ethnic communities, for example within the Black
  Country, is often concentrated in traditional manufacturing
  industries. This gives the manufacturing challenge a
  specific ethnic dimension;

• Inequality is also reflected in the housing market. For
  example Asian households are under-represented in local
  authority and Registered Social Landlord (RSL) housing
  and over-represented in the poor quality end of the
  owner-occupied sector. Also prices in some areas have
  risen to levels that exclude younger and less affluent
  buyers and renters; and

• Our challenge is to ensure that all parts of the region
  benefit from overall economic performance. We will
  accomplish this by working together to address social
  exclusion and under-performing economies, particularly in
  areas such as North Staffordshire, the Black Country and
  Birmingham where flagship regeneration is already being
  translated into sustainable neighbourhood renewal.
18   |   The Challenges the Region Faces

          2.6 Challenges for Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region

          The International Challenge                                       The Image Challenge

          • The enlargement of the European Union in 2004 will              • Key audiences lack awareness of what the West
             create the largest single market on the globe. This will          Midlands is and what it has to offer. Their decisions,
             provide opportunities for commerce, investment, student           which reflect this lack of awareness, have a material
             and worker mobility, cultural exchange and knowledge              impact on the health of our economy. These key
             transfer. It also brings the challenge of new competition;        audiences include the West Midlands’ own population;

          • The European Cohesion agenda post-2006 may lead                 • The region has no fully developed, outward-looking,
             to the loss of substantial resources currently provided           international approach and often fails to recognise
             by the European Commission to support our region’s                and understand the ever-changing global context in
             economic regeneration;                                            which it operates;

          • The review of the Common Agricultural Policy will have a        • We have not always broadcast the successful physical
             major impact on our agricultural businesses and the               transformation of many parts of the West Midlands;
             entire rural economy; and
                                                                            • The availability of data to inform policy development
          • Our challenge is to take advantage of the opportunities            is currently inconsistent. There is no clear single source
             available in an international context (particularly from the      for accessing data, nor for understanding and
             European Union Community Initiatives), while remaining            interpreting it; and
             aware of and primed to enter international competition.
                                                                            • Our challenge is to create a positive image for the region
                                                                               and, by working together, to improve the way it markets
                                                                               itself to target audiences.
                                                                                                     The Challenges the Region Faces     |   19

2.7 Conclusion

This chapter illustrates both the complexity of the challenges      Meeting these challenges will realise our Vision. Annex A sets
the West Midlands faces and the co-ordinated response               a series of indicators that over time will enable us to know how
required to meet them. Some challenges have a greater               well the challenges are being met and therefore the progress
impact on achieving the Vision than others, and these have          being made towards realising the Vision.
been given the highest priority. They are:
                                                                    The next chapter sets out the overall strategic approach the
• The Enterprise Challenge – because an enterprise                  region is taking to meet these challenges and the part which
   culture is critical to a successful region. This must have a     the highest priority challenges will play at the forefront of this
   strong focus on young people as they are crucial to the          approach. It is also important to understand that the
   future prosperity of the region;                                 timescales for meeting challenges is not always equal, for
                                                                    example meeting the transport challenge is a long-term
• The Manufacturing Challenge – because manufacturing               project. Hence this Strategy sets out both the long-term
   is vitally important to the region’s economy yet is              approach together with what can be achieved in the short
   experiencing falling employment and low productivity.            term. We must act now. Simply sitting and waiting until
   Modernisation and diversification are essential if we are to     everything is working is not an option. By working together
   build upon our historical base and increase employment           partners can – and will – meet and overcome the challenges
   and productivity;                                                facing the region.

• The Skills Challenge – because the region is failing to
   fully equip all of its people with the skills they require and
   to provide employers with the skilled workforce they need;

• The Transport Challenge – because the transport
   system in the region is inadequate for our present
   economy, let alone the world-class economy we aspire to
   be. Partners in the region believe that the West Midlands
   will never achieve its potential unless this challenge is
   addressed; and

• The Economic Inclusion Challenge – because
   differences in economic performance within the region
   are growing, and must be addressed so that all who
   live and work here share in the wealth created.
20   |   The Strategic Approach

          3. The Strategic Approach

          3.1 Introduction

          As a region we have a number of challenges to overcome if we are to achieve our ambitious Vision for 2010. These challenges are not
          new, and work undertaken in the preparation of this Strategy has confirmed that the strategy set out in Creating Advantage remains
          relevant four years on. The challenges are about long-term structural change in the economy and the delivery vehicles identified in
          Creating Advantage need time to ‘bed down’ and have the planned impact. The region must hold its nerve and keep on the same
          track. Therefore, what is required is an updated Strategy focused on delivery.

          Delivery requires partners across the region to tackle the 13 challenges identified in chapter 2. These are grouped under four Pillar
          headings carried forward from Creating Advantage (Developing a Diverse and Dynamic Business Base, Promoting a Learning and
          Skilful Region, Creating the Conditions for Growth and Regenerating Communities) together with a new theme that cuts right across
          the Strategy: Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region. These core headings structure the policy response to the challenges, as
          detailed later in chapters 4 to 8. Our focus on delivery and the proposed structure has been confirmed by:

          • Revisiting regional analysis which indicated improvement in economic performance but no change relative to other UK regions
            (see section 2.1 and for further information a summary paper is available at;

          • A consultation exercise involving 87 meetings with partners and partnerships, plus written responses to a consultation document
            from 112 organisations and individuals (the results of this consultation can be seen at;

          • Testing the Strategy against the principles of the Regional Concordat which define the way in which the region will progress
            through partnership working (the Regional Concordat can be found at; and

          • Appraising the Strategy against key policy perspectives, including: sustainable development (see section 3.4); rural renaissance
            (see section 3.6); and health (undertaken by the Government Office for the West Midlands).

          3.2 The Structure

          The region adopted four Pillars as the basis for Creating             These Pillars do not stand in isolation – the themes within and
          Advantage in 1999. These are well known and understood                across them provide an overall integrated approach, and
          and provide the framework for Delivering Advantage.                   linkages are clearly identified throughout the Strategy.
          Partners have also agreed on the importance of ‘Providing a
          Powerful Voice for the Region’ to support the messages of
          this Strategy (see Figure 1).
                                                                                                               The Strategic Approach   |   21

Figure 1 – Delivering Advantage – a diagrammatic summary of the strategic approach

      “ The West Midlands is recognised as a world-class region in which to invest, work, learn,                     “
        visit and live and the most successful in creating wealth to benefit all of its people.

Pillar 1: Developing a Diverse   Pillar 2: Promoting a Learning          Pillar 3: Creating the            Pillar 4: Regenerating
 and Dynamic Business Base             and Skilful Region                Conditions for Growth                 Communities

      Pillar 1 Themes                  Pillar 2 Themes                     Pillar 3 Themes                   Pillar 4 Themes
 1. Improving our enterprise         1. Tackling the basic            1. Improving our transport       1. Linking opportunity to need
        performance                        skills gap                           system                    2. Building the capacity
     2. Modernising our
                                   2. Developing workforce            2. Developing a better ICT            of our communities
     manufacturing base
                                             skills                          infrastructure              3. Developing sustainable
  3. Providing better access
          to finance               3. Improving leadership          3. Delivering good quality sites           communities

4. Developing the knowledge         and management skills                    and buildings
         economy                 4. Developing an enterprise        4. Delivering a housing agenda
  5. Increasing international    and entrepreneurship culture            for economic growth
         engagement                  5. Expanding higher                 5. Sustainable use of
      6. Developing an                    level skills                     natural resources
   environmental economy
   7. Developing the visitor

                                            A Powerful Voice for the Region

1. Improving our image and        2. Creating an intelligence             3. Engaging with UK            4. Engaging with European
   marketing the region                 base for policy                         partners                           partners
22   |   The Strategic Approach

          3.3 Principles                                                    This appraisal shows that throughout the Strategy, there are
                                                                            policies and actions that address in positive ways virtually all
          The West Midlands Economic Strategy is underpinned by a
                                                                            the elements of sustainable development – for example
          number of principles. These exemplify the Strategy’s role in
          providing a lead and offering guidance to enable partners         within Pillar 1 there is a specific focus on links between the
          across the region to promote sustainable economic                 environment and the economy; in Pillar 4 the focus is on
          development that benefits all:                                    economic and social links. The appraisal also provides the
                                                                            basis for a future work programme to develop policies in
          • A commitment to sustainable development to ensure that
                                                                            those areas which are least well developed.
            the Strategy contributes to long-term improvements in the
            quality of life in the region;                                  Figure 2 – Sustainability Appraisal of Delivering Advantage

          • A commitment to equality, diversity and economic inclusion
            to ensure that the Strategy contributes to providing
            appropriate access to opportunities and values the region’s
            diversity; and

          • A commitment to link to other strategies and policies to
            ensure that the Strategy adds value to the region by helping
            to align activities and ensure consistency of approach.

          3.4 Sustainable Development

          The UK Strategy for Sustainable Development is the
          Government’s framework for sustainable development. Its four
          objectives provide the basis for measuring how this Strategy
          impacts upon the quality of life for everyone. These are:

          • Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth
            and employment;

          • Social progress which recognises the needs of everyone;

          • Effective protection and enhancement of the environment;
            and                                                             To ensure that Delivering Advantage really does deliver on
                                                                            sustainable development, partners must embed the
          • Prudent use of natural resources.
                                                                            principles of sustainable development into policy
          The policies and actions within Delivering Advantage              development, appraisal and delivery. The Regional
          have been worked up on the basis of understanding their           Sustainable Development Framework is to be updated and
          contribution towards sustainable development – including          published through Sustainability West Midlands in 2004. This
          how they contribute and link to other regional strategies which   will set down the overall principles of the region’s approach
          are also committed to a sustainable development approach.         and provide guidance on how to apply those principles and
          An independent assessment has been undertaken to test             measure their impact – thus it will become the guiding
          this. It shows that considerable progress has been made in        manual for partners committed to Delivering Advantage.
          integrating these four themes since the development of the
          region’s original Strategy Creating Advantage. See Annex B        3.5 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
          for an assessment of the progress made.
                                                                            A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion provides
          Figure 2 shows how Delivering Advantage fares against the         the basis for partners to ensure that opportunities created
          Government’s four objectives. The Sustainable Project             by a modernising and diversifying economy are genuinely
          Appraisal Routine diagram (SPeAR), is based on a four-            accessible to all. This requires co-ordinated action. Policy
          quadrant model structuring the issues of sustainability into      development must include an assessment of its impact on
          a robust framework, from which an appraisal of performance        equality. The Regional Concordat commitment to social
          can be undertaken. The nearer the centre a shaded area            inclusion calls for partners to “commit to work to achieve
          appears, the nearer it is to be being seen as the optimum         equality of access and opportunity in all aspects of life for all
          sustainability position.                                          the region’s inhabitants”. All partners involved in delivery
                                                                            need to sign up to this commitment and understand how
                                                                            their actions can contribute.
                                                                                                                The Strategic Approach   |   23

The development of Delivering Advantage has been influenced           3.7 Strategy and Policy Linkages
by the recognition that the West Midlands has a greater diversity
                                                                      This Strategy is shaped by European and national policies
of cultures and languages than anywhere outside London. This
                                                                      and strategies as well as other regional strategies. The
diversity is a great strength and it is the task of all partners to
                                                                      European and national context is given in Annex C. Regional
utilise it for the benefit of the region as a whole.
                                                                      strategy documents are discussed below.
Therefore, throughout the Strategy there are policies and
activities which build from this base. Regeneration Zones are
                                                                      3.8 Regional Strategies
an example of such commitment in action. Here action is
targeted to raise employments levels, increase business activity      Alignment with Regional Planning Guidance (RPG) is critical
and improve the quality of life for many of the most socially         to the delivery of this Strategy, and provides its longer-term
deprived sectors of our region. The Enterprise Framework              planning and land use framework. Delivering Advantage
(see chapter 4) includes a clear focus on developing enterprise       therefore encompasses the key planks of the emerging
within disadvantaged communities and taking advantage of              RPG: the renaissance of major urban areas is supported by
the strength offered by minority ethnic businesses.                   this Strategy’s policies and actions, and draft Regional
                                                                      Transport Strategy incorporated into the emerging RPG
The West Midlands Economic Strategy – Equality, Diversity and
                                                                      forms the basis for its transport policy. In turn, the emerging
Inclusion Statement (see – which will
                                                                      RPG identifies and embeds crucial aspects of this Strategy
be owned by the Regional Assembly Social Inclusion Policy
                                                                      (e.g. Regeneration Zones). Other regional strategies
Partnership, will set out in a clear way all the commitments
                                                                      impacting upon this Strategy include:
made within this Strategy, so they can be delivered in a
coherent way, and their success monitored by regional partners.       • The Regional Housing Strategy;

                                                                      • The Regional Cultural Strategy (Cultural Life in the
3.6 Towards a Rural Renaissance                                         West Midlands);

Delivering Advantage is a strategy for the whole region,              • The Framework for Regional Employment and
but its delivery will need to address the specific needs of             Skills Action;
the rural economy, rural businesses and rural communities.
                                                                      • The Regional Sustainable Development Framework
The natural links between rural and urban areas lead to
                                                                        (in development); and
supporting an overall regional approach – all elements of
Delivering Advantage and the associated documents have                • The West Midlands Regional Delivery Plan – the response
significant rural components. An accompanying Rural                     to the Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food.
Renaissance Statement is being produced that sets down                These strategies help to shape the Pillars and the Action Plan,
clearly how the region’s approach to rural issues will be             but Delivering Advantage does not attempt to replicate their
achieved through a co-ordinated approach. This statement              ownership and delivery. So, for example, the Regional Cultural
will be owned by the Regional Rural Affairs Forum.                    Strategy is ‘owned’ by West Midlands Life as one of the
Chapter 2 has identified where there is a rural dimension to          Concordat partners. The Action Plan in this Strategy therefore
the challenges, particularly the specific requirements for            reflects relevant actions identified in the Regional Cultural
modernising and diversifying the rural economy. The rural             Strategy. Annex D provides more detail on regional strategies.
economy has low wages, seasonal or part-time employment
and over-dependency on employment in certain traditional              3.9 Associated documents
sectors (especially land-based activity). However, with the
exception of this and financial services, the rural economy           A number of associated documents have been developed
mirrors in structure that of the rest of the region, with             directly within the framework of this Strategy. These are, of
manufacturing accounting for over 20% of employment.                  necessity, more detailed than the Strategy and often contain
                                                                      elements of all four of its Pillars and ‘Providing a Powerful
This Strategy shows the policy choices that will be required          Voice for the Region’ (see Annex D for the details of these
to address these challenges. For instance, diversification of         documents). These documents are developed and owned
the region’s rural economy will be a key feature of the               by regional partnerships.
business development agenda. The challenges of relatively
poor wages, regeneration of the remoter rural areas,
                                                                      3.10 Conclusion
infrastructure support and poor accessibility are also
addressed within the appropriate parts of the Strategy The            This chapter has set out the overall strategic approach and
Rural Renaissance Statement brings these all together to              principles for the Strategy. The next five chapters take this
provide a clear agenda to move forward the region’s                   approach and principles and set down the regional policy
approach to the delivery of rural policies and actions.               response.
24   |   Pillar 1 - Developing a Diverse and Dynamic Business Base

          4. Pillar 1 - Developing a Diverse and Dynamic Business Base

          4.1 Overall Aim

          This Pillar drives forward the modernisation and diversification of the region’s businesses to ensure: flourishing enterprise; growth through
          innovation; utilisation of environmental and cutting-edge technologies; and success within the global marketplace. The West Midlands will
          then take its position as a leading region renowned for world class businesses and a high number of quality jobs for its people.

          4.2 Improving our Enterprise Performance
          A supportive ‘enterprise’ culture is critical for the region to           • To improve the competitiveness of the existing West
          improve its economic performance, realise its Vision and deliver            Midlands enterprise base; and
          a modernised business base.                                               • To encourage and develop enterprise in our
          An Enterprise Framework has been developed to shape the                     disadvantaged communities.
          co-ordination and direction of enterprise support activities
          over the medium to long term. For the first time this will allow
                                                                                    These will work together to ensure that support mechanisms
          partners to focus their interventions around a common set of
                                                                                    are in place to:
          objectives and targets. This approach will ensure that added
          value accrues from all enterprise interventions undertaken                • Raise the number of individuals entering self-employment
          across the region.                                                          in the region; and

          The West Midlands is already serviced by a wide variety of                • Ensure that existing enterprises access the skills, finance,
          programmes, policy priorities and interventions designed to                 technology, premises and support required to increase
          stimulate enterprise in its widest sense, such as those listed in           their productivity and competitiveness in the market place.
          the following sections. The Enterprise Framework shapes and               The Enterprise Framework provides the structure to shape
          co-ordinates this activity. The starting point for developing the         activity, and regional groups will lead on actions for delivery
          Framework has been a national review of business support,                 against themes within the framework (see the Action Plan -
          leading to the West Midlands implementing pilot arrangements              chapter 11). All parts of the Framework need to be delivered
          for the co-ordination of business support at a local level, through       and that requires a body with overall responsibility for its
          using the six Business Links operators in the region as the               delivery. This will be achieved through the establishment of a
          main route to market. This joined-up approach is focused on               dynamic, responsive Enterprise Board. The Enterprise Board
          meeting the challenge of businesses being uncertain about                 will, through its direct connections with the business base,
          the many different support services on offer.                             advise Advantage West Midland’s Board on the type and
          The Enterprise Framework has four objectives, developed                   nature of intervention required to ensure that individuals and
          through widespread consultation with partners:                            organisations access the support they require in order to start,
                                                                                    develop and sustain successful enterprises across the region.
          • To stimulate and develop an ‘enterprise culture’
            in the region;
          • To encourage the development of a dynamic enterprise
            start-up environment;
                                                                     Pillar 1 - Developing a Diverse and Dynamic Business Base    |   25

4.3 Modernising our Manufacturing Base                         4.4 Providing Better Access to Finance

The region was shaken out of any complacency, and started      There are significant gaps in access to finance for business
to act with a greater coherence in respect of manufacturing,   start-up, growth and transition, both on the demand and the
as a result of the potential loss of Rover car production at   supply side. Failure to access appropriate finance influences
Longbridge (and the consequent effects on the supply           the relatively low level of business start-ups and constrains
chain) in 2000. The Rover Task Force provided a clear focus    established businesses. Simultaneously the issue of businesses
on the need to both modernise and diversify the region’s       being ‘investment ready’ and understanding the requirements
economic base.                                                 of them from potential funders must be addressed.
                                                               The Regional Finance Forum has agreed and is implementing a
That means, for manufacturing, moving the existing base
                                                               Regional Access to Finance Framework. Funds and schemes
into higher added-value activities; looking to develop new,
                                                               are addressing the key gaps identified. Our goal is a fully
high added-value activities; increasing the region’s
                                                               integrated escalator of financial support for business and
employment and output in existing areas that can continue
                                                               assistance for businesses to access that support.
to grow. These three categories form the basis of the choice
of the Business Clusters as one of our three Key Delivery      As an example of looking at innovative solutions, the
Mechanisms (see section 9.3). The regional approach to         possibility of a Regional Local Business Exchange (LBX) is
                                                               currently under consideration. The project will evolve over five
supporting its manufacturing base is led by the Beacon
                                                               phases: feasibility; project planning; project management;
Manufacturing Group of regional partners, supported by the
                                                               delivery; and operation. The project is currently at phase two,
Manufacturing Foundation, which undertakes detailed
                                                               project planning, and a plan for developing the LBX is being
research and analysis of manufacturing issues.
                                                               produced. Initial feasibility work has established a market
                                                               need for a range of Stock Exchange functions currently
                                                               unavailable, to provide help for small and medium-sized
                                                               enterprises (SMEs) in the region seeking to raise equity of
                                                               between £0.5 million and £5 million.
26   |   Pillar 1 - Developing a Diverse and Dynamic Business Base

          4.5 Developing the Knowledge Economy

          Analysis shows that the West Midlands already has a                 • Knowledge development – transferring the full potential
          relatively strong position in terms of the aggregate number           of the region’s science, technology and knowledge base
          of companies which are ‘innovation active’, but data also             into the private sector; creating a framework where vision
          identifies investment in research and development and new             and foresight can help to shape the region’s future;
          product development as remaining low, creating a long-term            generating new knowledge to support the development
          weakness in the system.                                               of priority Business Clusters and High Technology
                                                                                Corridors; encouraging greater business-to-business
          Knowledge plays a key role in the development of a vibrant,
                                                                                knowledge transfer; and making all of these resources
          future-focused economy. This can mean the use of cutting-
                                                                                more easily accessible; and
          edge technologies and support for targeted research and
          development, but for many companies it involves more                • Engaging with and developing the strategic vision of the
          effective use of established technologies to create step              end user – providing innovation support programmes
          change in their performance and competitiveness. Support              focused on the needs of the market, and particularly the
          is needed within companies of all sizes to ensure that                future market; engaging the media in an active campaign
          knowledge transferred makes the greatest possible impact              to raise public awareness of all aspects of innovation;
          on the companies’ mainstream business. Knowledge also                 and making innovation ‘stick’ by creating innovation
          means ensuring that companies have effective access to                champions within the region.
          market intelligence to enable them to develop marketing and
                                                                              Actions must both support and stimulate demand, while
          sales strategies. This remains a serious weakness in the
                                                                              remaining sensitive to the nature of markets and individual
          innovation process.
                                                                              company needs. It is vital that the region continues to
          New and appropriate capital investment in the region is vital.      support a strong, demand-led innovation system that
          The improvement of process by innovative capital                    encourages change and reduces, wherever possible, risks
          equipment application is fundamental to building and                to the individual innovator.
          maintaining the competitive position of our companies.
          A clear regional approach alongside existing funding
          mechanisms is essential.                                            4.6 Increasing International Engagement

          The potential wealth generation effect of specialist                Global demand for goods and services is in constant flux.
          knowledged based activity requires a co-ordinated regional          Businesses must compete worldwide and the internet and
          approach. Other regions have used Science and Industry              digital communications are vital tools.
          Councils. This concept requires modification for West
                                                                              Exporting features strongly in the region’s economy,
          Midlands conditions to generate an authoritative view of the
                                                                              although there is clearly scope for more companies'
          research and technology requirements of the region and
                                                                              involvement. There are significant opportunities to exploit
          encourage greater exploitation. It will also link to the national
                                                                              EU initiatives to develop joint ventures and international
          Innovation Review and Technology Strategy to ensure that
                                                                              partnerships. The exchange of ideas and knowledge on an
          the region is well placed to participate in and exploit the
                                                                              international scale is increasingly important for opening up
          results of national technology development initiatives.
                                                                              new markets and accessing new technologies and
          Our approach, as set out in the Regional Innovation Strategy,       processes. The region also needs to exploit the connections
          is to respond to this integrated set of priorities, as follows:     with other parts of the world that businesses in this region
                                                                              have (e.g. with the Indian sub-continent).
          • Company development – providing the right skills and
            confidence for our people to lead and create innovation;          These issues require a co-ordinated approach. This approach
            building businesses’ capacity to become ‘intelligent and          is set out in the Regional International Trade Strategy, which
            visionary customers’ of the knowledge base; encouraging           identifies priorities for support agencies, co-ordinated through
            the use of foresight and innovation benchmarking tools;           the International Trade Steering Group.
            improving take-up of design resources in the region; and
                                                                              Inward investment is vital for the diversification and
            developing specialist advisors to help business make the
                                                                              modernisation of the region’s economy. We must maintain
            most of opportunities;
                                                                              and increase our share of foreign direct inward investment.
          • Resource development – providing access to specialist             Traditional manufacturing investment is being lost to Eastern
            equipment; delivering premises and services for early-            Europe and the Far East, therefore the region’s Inward
            stage and grow-on businesses; access to resources to              Investment Strategy prioritises higher value-added activities,
            support innovation and growth; and increasing Intellectual        targeting specific companies able to build upon existing
            Property (IP) management and exploitation;                        competitive strengths or attract other companies which
                                                                              plug significant gaps.
                                                                        Pillar 1 - Developing a Diverse and Dynamic Business Base   |   27

4.7 Developing an Environmental Economy                           4.8 Developing the Visitor Economy

Pressures for improved environmental practice will provide        Urban and rural economies each benefit from the
opportunities. The region’s manufacturing base, particularly      appropriate development and exploitation of tourism, culture
through its expertise in engineering, is well placed to exploit   and heritage, particularly where these promote new
major opportunities in environmental technologies and broaden     enterprise and diversify local economies in response to
the business base by developing this new growth area. This        identified demand.
provides a valuable opportunity to integrate the environmental
                                                                  A new strategic tourism body, the West Midlands Strategic
and economic themes of sustainable development.
                                                                  Tourism Body, will be established by spring 2004. It will
Available opportunities are wide ranging but there are two        oversee the development of a new seven-year West
key areas, dealing with waste and producing renewable             Midlands Visitor Economy Strategy. This will be developed
energy, where business engagement is critical to effective        from the work of sub-regional and regional partners,
solutions and where opportunities are substantial. The            including Visit Heart of England which will assume a more
renewable energy opportunity is within the context of UK          focused role for the region. Tourism development brings
domestic targets as set out in the Energy White Paper.            benefit to every part of the region and to both private and
This requires a 20% cut in carbon dioxide emissions by            public sectors. With a very large number of diverse
2010; 10% of electricity supply to emanate from renewable         businesses this requires a fully co-ordinated strategy to be
sources by 2010, plus support for the European Union’s            supported and followed enthusiastically by all those actively
commitment to the Kyoto agreement. Low carbon                     involved, in both public and private sectors, if the potential
technology will become a key feature of energy production.        economic benefits of the visitor economy are to be
                                                                  maximised. Key elements of the Strategy are likely to include:
Key development opportunities are available if we improve
linkage between producers and the substantial research            • Improving the quality and competitiveness of the region’s
capability in the region. Such an opportunity is well               tourism businesses in order to be market-led and deliver
illustrated in fuel cell technology and the engagement of           consumer requirements;
the region’s component manufacturing capability in new
                                                                  • Growing income, employment and other economic
markets. Other opportunities arise from regional expertise in
                                                                    benefits to the region’s communities while ensuring that
both fuel crops and waste. There will almost certainly be
                                                                    development is environmentally sustainable, reflects
added potential here arising from the anticipated European
                                                                    regional diversity, promotes quality and is based around
framework for emissions trading.
                                                                    core strengths;
Changes in the legal framework for waste disposal will
                                                                  • Improving strategic management and wider customer
provide substantial opportunities for new business engaged
                                                                    service skill levels;
in re-use. The regional response here must recognise the
waste hierarchy (eliminate, reduce, re-use, recycle, dispose)     • Improving tourism delivery and promotion, including
and seek to re-use materials as high as possible in the value       e-tourism for which a regional strategy will be implemented;
chain, both as good environmental practice and to maximise        • Branding and marketing the region’s tourism products in
the viability of business in this area.                             a more positive and effective way;
We must not neglect our wider assets in both manufacturing        • Benchmarking and exchange with other regions; and
and services in this market. Similarly, we must also
recognise the wider sustainable development agenda in             • Developing links to other economic sectors,
encouraging all our businesses to pursue the highest                e.g. agriculture, arts, sport.
achievable levels of environmental practice (through
business support organisations promoting environmental
                                                                  4.9 Conclusion
management systems) and to recognise the quality of the
environment itself which needs to be managed and                  This chapter has set out carefully considered and vigorous
improved as a substantial asset for the region’s economy.         responses to the wealth creating challenges we face
                                                                  together as a region. The key to overcoming these
                                                                  challenges is to provide our workforce with the skills they
                                                                  need. The next chapter addresses the learning and skills
                                                                  challenges we need to address for success.
28   |   Pillar 2 - Promoting a Learning and Skilful Region

           5. Pillar 2 - Promoting a Learning and Skilful Region

          5.1 Overall Aim

          The aim is to create a highly skilled, innovative and adaptable workforce to attract and support the growth of high value jobs
          and wealth-creating businesses. This will lead to increased income for all our workforce, and ensure that all our people have
          the skills they need to take advantage of job opportunities.

          This aim aligns with the European Union’s Lisbon agenda, through which Member States have committed to make Europe the
          most “competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world” by 2010, and which informs our focus on Business
          Clusters (see chapter 9).

          The recently published National Skills Strategy sets out a focused and coherent national approach to skills issues, including a
          clear mandate to involve the demand side (particularly business) and an emphasis on supporting NVQ levels 2 and 3
          qualifications, which this Pillar responds to. It also paves the way for a Regional Skills Partnership charged with ensuring an
          effective response to skills challenges. This involves bringing together existing regional skills-related strategies including the
          Framework for Regional Employment and Skills Action (FRESA) and the European Union Objective 3 Regional Development Plan.

          5.2 Tackling the Basic Skills Gap                                   5.3 Developing Workforce Skills

          Tackling the low levels of basic skills across many parts of        A number of skills shortages, skills gaps and a widespread
          the region is key to developing business competitiveness.           failure of employers to engage in training are hampering the
          This demands committed partnership working between                  growth of our businesses. In many areas there is a need to
          all agencies engaged in education and skills including              upskilll or reskill our workforce. Our priorities are to:
          local education authorities, schools, education and training
                                                                              • Raise awareness of and aspiration to high value
          providers, and employers. In particular, it requires a
                                                                                employment opportunities via the development of specific
          co-ordinated focus on the 14–19 age group. These young                advice, guidance and labour market information –
          people are the building block for the future of our economy,          focusing upon action to raise aspirations and
          and as shown by the challenge, there is a very mixed picture          engagement in training;
          in terms of educational attainment in the region. However
                                                                              • Increase access to learning through implementation of the
          we recognise that improving the basic skills of some older
                                                                                Regional E-Learning Strategy and the development of other
          workers remains an important issue to be addressed. The
                                                                                flexible learning opportunities – particularly in rural areas;
          FRESA responds to this skills challenge (a major one for the
          region), with priority targets to:                                  • Improve language, international management and project
                                                                                management skills by implementation of the West
          • Improve levels of literacy, numeracy and ICT skills through
                                                                                Midlands Language Strategy – linking in to and
            region-wide projects – addressing the low levels of basic
                                                                                complementing the aim to improve international
            skills, employability skills and qualifications;
          • Further develop basic skills training in the workplace with
                                                                              • Increase access to modern apprenticeships – improving
            partners – seeking to provide opportunities for all
                                                                                the skill levels of both young people and adults; and
            workers, particularly those in SMEs, to reach their full
            potential; and                                                    • Promoting ambition and enthusiasm – by raising
                                                                                aspirations through new and more creative approaches
          • Promote diversity initiatives with employers and
                                                                                to learning and skills development.
            communities to improve access to employment
            opportunities for all – including key disadvantaged groups
            and people living in rural areas.
                                                                                   Pillar 2 - Promoting a Learning and Skilful Region   |   29

5.4 Improving Leadership and Management Skills                     • Promote a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship in
                                                                     schools, colleges and universities – to engage young
Good leadership and management skills are fundamental to             people at an early stage in the development of the skills
achieving sustainable growth and improving economic                  required to start up or work in business.
performance. Evidence shows that while our region has
some excellent managers and leaders of enterprises, they
                                                                   5.6 Expanding Higher Level Skills
are comparatively few in number across the private, public
and voluntary sectors. This contributes to poor levels of          Graduates are essential to the growth of our economy and
productivity improvement. If we are to achieve the economic        although the West Midlands has a reasonably high level of
growth required to compete globally then the quantity and          business innovation, the overall knowledge economy
quality of our managers must significantly increase. The           remains weak and participation in higher education is below
FRESA priorities are to:                                           the national average. Initiatives to support the employment
                                                                   and retention of skilled graduates in the region are crucial,
• Encourage the development of leadership skills, both for
                                                                   particularly within high value-added industries. The FRESA
  existing and emerging leaders, and develop networks of
  leaders where action learning and mentoring can                  priorities are to:
  underpin skills development;
                                                                   • Encourage the development and delivery of foundation
• Increase the number of managers with relevant business             degrees – as a route to higher level qualifications for the
  management training and qualifications – addressing                workforce;
  needs identified in all ten Business Clusters; and
                                                                   • Develop and support the implementation of the
• Increase the participation of managers in nationally validated     Partnerships for Progression initiative – assisting young
  skills development programmes (through pilot projects, such        people to progress from school and further education
  as work with Centres of Vocational Excellence) which will          into higher education;
  lead to improved products and services.
                                                                   • Raise awareness of high value employment opportunities
                                                                     – increasing the retention of graduates in the region with
5.5 Developing an Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Culture            consequent improvement of the Business Clusters; and

                                                                   • Improve access routes, including mature apprenticeships
Entrepreneurship is often thought of solely in terms of
                                                                     and provision in rural areas – responding to identified
business start-up. This is a rather narrow view, since
                                                                     gaps and issues.
enterprise and entrepreneurship are required in businesses
of all sizes and at all stages of development (as shown in
section 4.2). All our businesses need enterprising and             5.7 Conclusion
entrepreneurial young people to enable them to grow, adapt
                                                                   This chapter illustrates the region’s key themes for the
and contribute to our economy. For this region, a particular
                                                                   development of a skilled and adaptable workforce to support
focus is to inform and persuade school children that
                                                                   the modernisation and diversification focus of chapter 4. It
manufacturing, which draws on cutting-edge science,
                                                                   also explains how partners will work together to ensure that
engineering and technological developments, offers an
                                                                   all our people have the skills to take up opportunities
exciting and worthwhile career path. Priorities are to:
                                                                   created. To succeed in this, the region needs the right
• Improve links between education and business, to ensure          infrastructure in place to support it, and chapter 6 sets out
  greater understanding of issues and needs in both                the policy response to the Conditions for Growth challenges.
  sectors; and
30   |   Pillar 3 - Creating the Conditions for Growth

           6. Pillar 3 - Creating the Conditions for Growth

          6.1 Overall Aim

          This Pillar is the engine to drive forward investment by private firms and individuals in the region by encouraging and supporting
          a world-class infrastructure.

          Urban areas require significant investment, particularly in transport and electronic communications, in providing development
          and redevelopment sites and in revitalising housing stock. Poor infrastructure is hampering attempts to broaden the economic
          base in rural areas. A modern transport system is crucial. This Strategy can only go so far in seeking improvements in
          infrastructure – there are important policy connections to be made to other strategies and vital, shared priorities in
          implementation, including advising Government of the region’s needs.

          6.2 Improving our Transport System

          An effective, sustainable transport system is fundamental to        Delivery requires action from a wide range of partners,
          the delivery of this Strategy. The region does not currently        together with higher levels of revenue and capital investment
          have such a system.                                                 from both public and private sectors than has been available
                                                                              over the last decade. Much will be achieved through
          The draft Regional Transport Strategy, which is included in
                                                                              Government funding programmes, but the region cannot
          the Secretary of State’s proposed changes to Regional
                                                                              expect this funding to deliver everything required. We need
          Planning Guidance, sets out a framework for addressing the
                                                                              innovative thinking to find alternative means of funding those
          complex challenges involved. The overall approach is to
                                                                              elements where the Government does not meet the whole
          improve transport through:
                                                                              bill. This will include examining the case for measures such
          • Measures to improve national road and rail networks;              as congestion and user charging. For example, Birmingham
          • Measures to significantly improve accessibility and               City Council is leading work on finding alternative sources of
            mobility within major urban areas, other urban areas,             funding for New Street Station development.
            market towns and rural areas – particularly in support of         This innovative thinking needs to be developed both within
            the principle of equal access to employment; and                  the region and through working with other regions – and the
          • Measures to encourage greater use of public transport,            region is leading a national study into innovative forms of
            cycling and walking across the region.                            financing transport infrastructure which will set out how the
                                                                              region can help itself.
          To implement this approach, the draft Regional Transport
          Strategy sets out a long-term plan for investment – this            The Regional Assembly’s Transport Partnership is
          includes those schemes already committed within local and           championing the delivery of the Regional Transport Strategy
          national transport plans (see Annex E, which identifies the         and has produced a Transport Priorities document.
          key delivery organisation for the national and regional             The Transport Priorities for the West Midlands document
          priorities for investment and the timescale for delivery).          identifies priorities for regional action which have been agreed
          Meeting the transport challenge in this Strategy requires           by a wide range of public and private sector partners
          regional partners to focus on delivering all elements of the        committed to working towards their achievement. This
          plan for investment, and to take the lead on national and           document will need to be refreshed in the light of changes to
          regional priorities; and local partners to take the lead on the     the draft Regional Transport Strategy. It will continue to play
          local priorities.                                                   an important role in bringing together partners in the region
                                                                              and providing a focus and shared agenda for both regional
                                                                              action and lobbying by all sectors. (The Transport Priorities
                                                                              document can be found at
                                                                                       Pillar 3 - Creating the Conditions for Growth   |   31

Airport development is a specific part of the transport           6.3 Developing a Better ICT Infrastructure
agenda within the wider draft Regional Transport Strategy.
                                                                  The widespread availability of broadband communications
The delivery of the Vision in this Strategy requires an
                                                                  is a prerequisite for economic development. Recognising
international airport supporting the regional economy and its
                                                                  this, the region will strive to make broadband
businesses. The Future of Air Transport White Paper
                                                                  communications available to all businesses and 97% of
(December 2003) supports the provision of an additional
                                                                  households throughout the region by the end of 2004.
runway at Birmingham International Airport to meet the
future growth in demand for air travel within the region. The     The West Midlands Broadband Company has been
airport operator will need to work closely with transport         established to develop a broadband network for the
operators and regional partners to develop a strategy to          education, voluntary and health sectors, local authorities
improve surface access to the airport, particularly to            and other public bodies and public sector organisations at
increase the proportion of people using public transport and      affordable cost throughout the West Midlands. It is also to
to address the capacity on the M42. The White Paper               facilitate the extension of broadband to small businesses
leaves the development of Coventry Airport, Wolverhampton         in areas where it is otherwise not commercially viable.
Business Airport and any civil use of RAF Cosford as issues       The region’s work on aggregating public sector demand
for local determination. The full implications of the White       through the West Midlands Broadband Company has been
Paper for the region’s spatial and transport strategies will      picked up nationally with the development of Regional
need to be addressed by a future review of Regional               Aggregation Boards – pooling the resources of the
Planning Guidance.                                                Department for Education and Skills and the National
Transport is one issue where the region cannot operate in         Health Service. In this region we are ensuring that this
isolation, as the transport network of the West Midlands          national initiative complements the creation of the West
impacts on other regions, and is in turn impacted on by           Midlands Broadband Company, to provide an even
decisions made in other regions. This requires co-ordinated       stronger co-ordinated approach.
action across English regions to clearly identify key transport   However, broadband availability is only an enabler of
requirements of national significance that impact on regional     economic development. For the full benefit to be realised,
economies. The nine Regional Development Agencies                 take-up of e-Business must be strongly increased and
(RDAs), led by Advantage West Midlands, have undertaken           e-Learning and e-Government developed to ensure that:
a study – Surface Infrastructure of National Economic
Importance (SINEI) – which examines our transport needs           • Businesses work efficiently with each other within the
from a national economic perspective. A key output from             region and are able to compete in national and
this study will be a high level ‘Framework’ that captures key       international markets;
national transport requirements emerging from the changing        • Businesses can get closer to their customers;
economic needs of a growing economy.
                                                                  • Businesses and government can work efficiently
                                                                    together; and

                                                                  • Skills development in the region is world-class.

                                                                  The ICT Cluster is a growing cluster focused on the
                                                                  development of the ICT industry in the region. The ICT
                                                                  Cluster strategy will build upon successful initiatives such
                                                                  as the UK Photonics Cluster, the recently launched West
                                                                  Midlands IT Association, and extend the range of ICT
                                                                  industry initiatives to support developments in technology
                                                                  and in the region’s economy.
32   |   Pillar 3 - Creating the Conditions for Growth

          6.4 Delivering Good Quality Sites and Buildings

          Ensuring the provision of good quality sites in the right                The main focus for the region to support emerging Regional
          location and of the right type is a key condition for growth.            Planning Guidance is to develop where possible on
          The regional approach to this has been developed through                 brownfield land. However, many such sites have major
          the Secretary of State’s (Deputy Prime Minister’s) proposed              problems to overcome in making them available for
          changes to Draft Regional Planning Guidance, employing                   development. Therefore, a Regional Brownfield Land Strategy
          methods fully consistent with this Strategy and supporting               is being developed, through the West Midlands Employment
          the delivery of its key elements. A balanced portfolio of land           Land Advisory Group, which provides an overall steer for the
          has been set out to meet the needs of the regional economy               delivery of the whole approach to employment land, based
          and to achieve this through a two-tier approach. The first               on sustainable development principles.
          tier is for sites of regional significance. The second tier is for
                                                                                   The quality of design in both built form and the space
          locally significant employment sites established through local
                                                                                   between buildings is a key facet of sustainable economic
          authority development plans. A summary of the approach
                                                                                   development. As suggested in the emerging Regional
          taken to first tier sites in the Secretary of State’s Proposed
                                                                                   Planning Guidance, flagship schemes and cultural projects
          Changes to Draft Regional Planning Guidance is set out
                                                                                   can be a catalyst for regeneration. The region has much to
          below (Figure 3).
                                                                                   build on with many exemplars of high quality design.
                                                                                   This thinking needs to be distilled into everyday settings.

          Figure 3 – Emerging Regional Planning Guidance Policy on sites of regional significance (summary)

             Regional Investment Sites – The purpose of these is to support the diversification and modernisation of the region’s
             economy, and in particular the development of the Business Clusters (see chapter 9). These sites, which will be identified
             in local authority development plans, are also intended to serve the needs of Urban Regeneration Zones (RZ) and High-
             Technology Corridors (HTC) (also see chapter 9). Taking into account existing sites, the Secretary of State’s proposed
             changes to Regional Planning Guidance identifies a need for new Regional Investment Sites to meet the needs of the
             following High Technology Corridors/Regeneration Zones:

                 • Birmingham–Worcestershire HTC (known                        • South Black Country and West Birmingham RZ
                   as the Central Technology Belt);                              (Arc of Opportunity); and

                 • Coventry and Nuneaton RZ;                                   • Additional provision may be required in the
                                                                                 Coventry–Solihull–Warwickshire HTC.

             In some circumstances, a particular Regional Investment Site may serve the needs of more than one Zone/Corridor.

             Major Investment Sites – two Major Investment Sites are needed to meet the need for accommodating very large-scale
             investment by single users with an international choice of locations in order to help diversify and restructure the regional
             economy. Three are currently identified, although these are subject to further consideration:

                 • Peddimore (Birmingham);

                 • Wobaston Road (South Staffordshire/Wolverhampton); and

                 • Ansty (Warwickshire).

             Regional Logistics Sites – a choice of Regional Logistics Sites should be available at any time, to provide
             opportunities for concentrated development of warehousing and distribution uses – priority should be given to bringing
             forward previously developed sites in North Staffordshire and Telford.
                                                                                          Pillar 3 - Creating the Conditions for Growth   |   33

This needs an examination of skills requirements, cross-           The Regional Housing Strategy and its integration with this
professional working and the engagement of partners from           Strategy (and consequent shared actions) will seek to
all sectors and at all stages of their work. The development       achieve this aim within the framework set down within the
of a Regional Design Framework is already underway to              emerging Regional Planning Guidance, with particular
ensure a focused approach to concerted action on quality           priorities including:
design, and that sustainable development is achieved.
                                                                   • The linking of employment to housing, which requires
In addition we must further explore the potential to exploit         action at a range of levels, including control through
our built environment. For example, the potential of the             planning processes, support for mixed developments and
canal network within the metropolitan area to further act            targeted public transport initiatives;
as a catalyst for regeneration and focus for tourism activity.
                                                                   • Securing large-scale intervention, across administrative
The Brindley Place area of Birmingham and the Waterfront
                                                                     boundaries, including actions to address market
at Merry Hill provide examples of how this can be achieved.
                                                                     restructuring and housing market failure;

                                                                   • Ensuring a sufficient pool of skilled labour for the
6.5 Delivering a Housing Agenda for Economic Growth                  construction industry; and

Sustainable Communities: Building for the Future Action            • The provision of housing land, strongly influenced by
Programme (see Annex C) sets out the national approach               planning policies and co-ordination of plans, to ensure
towards housing. In response to this, the Regional Housing           adequate provision and consequent reduction of conflict
Strategy seeks to ensure that the improvement of existing            on land use.
housing stock and the provision of new housing provides a
housing stock that meets the aspirations of the region’s
people, contributes to urban and rural renaissance and             6.6 Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
provides balanced and sustainable communities. The
                                                                   As outlined in chapter 3, this Strategy is committed to
development and subsequent delivery of the Regional Housing
                                                                   sustainable development. As part of that commitment, there
Strategy is undertaken by the Regional Housing Board.
                                                                   is a fundamental role for a high quality environment to
There is a two-way relationship between housing markets            support the region’s economy and deliver the Vision. The
and economic success. The vitality of housing markets              natural environment is recognised as a key component of
affects the vitality of the economy and vice versa. A vibrant      quality of life in the West Midlands. It is an asset to be utilised
economy brings higher levels of housing investment. A weak         and capital item to be sustained and enhanced. Two detailed
economy results in low levels of investment, with                  studies have been undertaken on the important role of the
consequent dilapidation and decay. The housing market can          region’s high quality environments – The Environmental
also be a driver for change, providing an impetus or               Economy of the West Midlands 2001 and The Environmental
intervention leading to increased activity and employment.         Economy of the Rural Regeneration Zone 2002. Each shows
                                                                   that not only is the environment important as an economic
Large urban areas in the region have experienced relative
                                                                   sector, but also that better use of natural resources by
economic decline since the 1970s as traditional industries
                                                                   business and the public sector provides both economic and
have declined and these areas have become less desirable
                                                                   environmental gains.
places to live. In contrast, suburban areas, ‘free standing’
towns and some rural areas (especially in the south and east       Delivering Advantage recognises that over the long term,
of the region) have experienced stronger economic growth           economic growth, social cohesion and environmental
as new industries have been attracted to edge-of-town or           protection must go hand in hand. Sustainable use of
greenfield sites. Consequently there has been slower growth        resources will ensure that our current stock of natural
in older urban housing markets compared with areas                 resources is neither depleted nor polluted by short-term
outside and a diminishing supply of affordable and social          development activity. This will be efficiently managed to
housing in the rural west of the region, affecting employment      support long-term growth. To deliver on this approach all
prospects for young people.                                        partners need to incorporate sustainable management
                                                                   practices into their businesses.
By 2010 there will be significant progress towards achieving
greater housing choice across all income ranges. This will play
a major part in creating attractive urban areas, helping to stem
                                                                   6.7 Conclusion
out-migration from those areas, and creating opportunities
for people to remain in their communities in rural areas.          This chapter has set out the regional policy response to the
                                                                   challenges around infrastructure. The next chapter sets out
                                                                   our response to the Economic Inclusion challenge.
34   |   Pillar 4 - Regenerating Communities

           7. Pillar 4 - Regenerating Communities

          7.1 Overall Aim

          This Pillar drives the actions which will ensure that: our population has access to training and employment; all cultures are
          valued for their contribution; the skills and knowledge of all groups is recognised and utilised to promote economic regeneration
          of communities, thus contributing to economic inclusion.

          It provides the building blocks of the ‘Bridges to Success’ concept. This concept sets out to provide linked activity to ensure
          that opportunities can be taken up by those in need. Therefore actions in this Pillar link through to the actions supported in the
          other Pillars (e.g. by tackling low aspiration leading to the take up of skills development). The involvement and leadership of
          Local Strategic Partnerships is crucial to the delivery of actions driven by this Pillar.

          7.2 Linking Opportunity to Need

          Unemployment varies widely across the region. Employers             • Improving engagement with disadvantaged communities
          find that employment offers are often not taken up by the             – enhancing the level and methods used to provide
          local communities within which they are located. This is due          advice and information to communities by public bodies
          to a range of factors: lack of child care; lack of accessible         and support agencies;
          public transport; low skill levels and the need to raise
                                                                              • Improving links with major employers – increasing
          aspirations and attainment; lack of information provision and
                                                                                opportunities for employers like the National Health
          knowledge; and poor environmental quality.
                                                                                Service to recruit from communities where they are
          We must enable those groups and communities traditionally             based; and
          excluded and disadvantaged in the labour market to access
                                                                              • Developing a structured approach towards corporate
          opportunities, especially jobs and training opportunities.
                                                                                social responsibility.
          Particular areas of focus are:

          • Identifying and overcoming barriers – encompassing
            issues like the lack of affordable child care, a lack of or
            limited public services, raising aspirations, and perception

          • Developing entrepreneurial communities – improving the
            level of business formation and survival rates at local

          • Promoting and supporting social enterprises – working
            with social entrepreneurs, voluntary and community
            groups to promote the benefits and opportunities
            provided by the development of sustainable social
            enterprises, as set out in the Social Enterprise
                                                                                              Pillar 4 - Regenerating Communities   |   35

7.3 Building the Capacity of Our Communities                     7.4 Developing Sustainable Communities

Regeneration action is effective only when members of the        Successful, sustainable local economies and communities
community are fully engaged and representative organisations     need an environment (real and perceived) that is attractive,
fully involved in regeneration developments. This involvement    safe and offers high quality social and cultural infrastructure.
flows from neighbourhood level to local, sub-regional and        As identified in the emerging Regional Planning Guidance,
regional levels. It places increasing demands on voluntary and   the current outward drift of people and jobs from major
community groups and these groups need to be equipped            urban areas is a key issue. In some rural, older industrial
and supported to make effective contributions. Building the      and former coalfield areas, communities are struggling due
capacity of people and local, sub-regional and regional          to structural change. Actions must therefore ensure that
organisations to participate in regeneration policy
                                                                 environmental conditions do not act as a disincentive to
development and decision making requires:
                                                                 investment. These actions include initiatives to reduce crime,
• Support for regional, sub-regional and local networks to       particularly business crime which increases costs and thus
  improve their level of knowledge and skills – providing        affects competitiveness and ultimately jobs or services in
  tailored and specific support on regeneration issues or        an area. It is also necessary to ensure that limited cultural
  developments, and raising of general awareness and             opportunities do not act as a disincentive.
                                                                 The priorities for action through Local Strategic Partnerships
• Encouragement of participation in regeneration activity –
                                                                 and regional partners are:
  building on local enthusiasms and talents and providing
  support to develop participation across all communities        • Prevention of crime and the fear of crime – supporting
  through existing structures; and                                 best practice in crime reduction and improving links with
                                                                   criminal justice organisations;
• Creation of local social capital – taking measures to
  ensure that social investment remains in regenerated           • Improvement of housing choice – supporting housing
  communities.                                                     investment as part of neighbourhood renewal and action
                                                                   within Regeneration Zones (see section 9.2);

                                                                 • Promotion of environmental awareness and improvement;
                                                                   enhancement of cultural opportunities; and maintaining
                                                                   and developing green spaces to provide better living
                                                                   conditions and improve perceptions of local areas; and

                                                                 • Reduction of health inequalities – action to counter poor
                                                                   health and poor access to care leading to improvements
                                                                   in productivity and economic activity of communities.

                                                                 7.5 Conclusion

                                                                 This chapter has focused on the economic inclusion
                                                                 challenge. The next chapter sets out the approach to the
                                                                 final challenges of image and marketing.
36   |   Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region

          8. Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region

          8.1 Overall Aim

          The aim is to coherently communicate the region’s strengths, opportunities and needs, and to ensure that these are clearly articulated
          and fully understood both within and outside the region.

          A successful, world-class region influences both national and international arenas. To achieve this, our region needs a strong, single and
          cohesive voice on the key issues impacting upon us. We must also develop a coherent approach to ensure that others are made aware
          of the strengths and opportunities, the features and activities which are truly distinctive to the West Midlands and steadily reaching
          world-class standard.

          Successful regions communicate with self-confidence and self-belief. This is essential both in promotional activities and in ensuring that
          issues and difficulties are understood by key decision makers, nationally and internationally. The West Midlands is perceived as lacking
          this confidence and belief. Therefore this single, coherent approach must also work within the region to improve confidence and to
          demonstrate to others that, given appropriate support, the West Midlands will be an economically successful region.

          Successful and confident regions are also outward looking and prepared to learn from others. We need both a clear approach to
          working with partners across the UK and to take advantage of existing opportunities.
                                                                                            Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region    |   37

8.2 Improving our Image and Marketing the Region

Perceptions held by key audiences are critical to successful       International participation is a key aspect of promoting the
economic development. Many regions across the world have           West Midlands to our target audiences. This participation takes
successfully shifted perceptions over time to the enhancement      many forms for partners and stakeholders in the region,
of their economies. They have achieved this by agreeing and        including: fostering partnerships for international trade, cultural
implementing a regional marketing strategy with very clear         exchange or technology transfer; benchmarking our
objectives over a sustained period of time.                        performance against other regions on an international level;
                                                                   and learning from the experience and best practice of others,
The marketing strategy for the West Midlands builds directly on
                                                                   all of which lead to informing others about and promoting the
the lessons we have learned from other regions and has three
                                                                   West Midlands on the international stage. The region’s
core objectives:
                                                                   European Strategic Framework (see section 8.5) promotes this
• To develop a compelling description of the region in words       ‘transnational’ action in a co-ordinated way.
   and images for use by all the region’s stakeholders to give
   external and internal audiences a true picture of what it is
   like to visit and to live and work in the West Midlands;

• To target five specific audiences: businesses looking to
   locate or expand in the region; visitors coming to the region
   for business or leisure; our current and future higher and
   further education student population; our regional
   population; and national and international media; and

• To monitor the effectiveness of marketing activity by
   measuring performance against targets and publishing
   results annually.

The Regional Marketing Strategy is delivered by a number of
groups comprising individuals and organisations from across
the whole region whose members bring the right knowledge
and expertise to specific objectives and specific audiences.
38   |   Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region

          8.3 Creating an Intelligence Base for Policy                    8.4 Engaging with UK partners

          A co-ordinating intelligence resource, based on genuine         Many key issues identified within this Strategy resonate in
          partnership, must make a consistent case for the conditions     other parts of the country, and actions to address them
          of the region and the implications for strategy. This must be   will be more effective if regions and devolved administrations
          based on the monitoring and evaluation of the contribution      work together. Economic activity is not constrained
          regional partners collectively make to the performance of the   by administrative boundaries. For the West Midlands,
          region, its people and its businesses. The West Midlands        bounded by the East Midlands, South West, South East,
          Regional Data and Intelligence Observatory will develop this    North West and Wales, it is crucial to work with partners in
          role and co-ordinate the collection, dissemination and use of   these areas.
          intelligence. Through a network of partners, it will ensure a
                                                                          Specific activities where the region is working with adjacent
          consistent approach and understanding within the region
                                                                          areas include:
          and produce an annual state of the region report. Some
          sub-regions have set up observatories, and a key                • Marketing the West Midlands abroad for foreign
          development will be to ensure the same availability of            investors under the ‘British Midlands’ brand, working
          information at regional and sub-regional levels.                  with the East Midlands;

                                                                          • Working with the South East, East of England and the East
                                                                            Midlands on the specialised motor racing element of the
                                                                            Transport Technologies Cluster;

                                                                          • Working with the East Midlands on the sustainable future of
                                                                            the aerospace sector;

                                                                          • Working with Visit Britain and other regions to better market
                                                                            England’s tourism product at home and overseas;

                                                                          • Joint work on European issues (NB the East Midlands will
                                                                            be co-locating with the region in the new West Midlands in
                                                                            Europe office in Brussels from 2004); and

                                                                          • Joint work with the North West and East Midlands on
                                                                            multi-modal transport studies.

                                                                          Regional organisations are working together across all
                                                                          English regions to pronounce on the impact of policy and to
                                                                          provide Government with coherent views on the regional
                                                                          implications of national issues. These include the future of
                                                                          European Structural Funds post 2006, the White Paper on
                                                                          Airports and State Aid policy.

                                                                          Regional partners also need to ensure that they play their
                                                                          part in UK-wide partnerships by understanding and
                                                                          responding to national perspectives and analysis.
                                                                          Government departments have extensive knowledge of
                                                                          issues critical to this Strategy and partners must work with
                                                                          departments to ensure that this knowledge is applied in the
                                                                          most effective way in the West Midlands.
                                                                                           Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region   |   39

8.5 Engaging with European Partners

To achieve recognition as a world-class region the West            • Working with other regions and building transnational
Midlands must engage fully with Europe, particularly the             partnerships to support the delivery of regional priorities.
European Union (EU). The EU provides massive trading
                                                                   This Framework has been developed through the Regional
opportunities, both within the existing Union and with
                                                                   Assembly’s European and International Affairs Partnership,
accession countries. It has a major impact on the region in
                                                                   which will have a co-ordinating role. But its success
terms of setting out policy direction and initiating legislation
                                                                   depends on organisations and partnerships right across the
which affects business and workers, education, skills and
                                                                   region – not just ‘European’ groups or networks – taking up
training organisations, research institutes, culture, art and
                                                                   opportunities and implementing actions.
sport. The EU is also a source of funding to deliver this
Strategy’s priorities. The EU’s Competition and State Aids         The new, enlarged West Midlands in Europe office in
policy has a major impact on the West Midlands. This is            Brussels gives added visibility to our region in the EU
currently being reviewed and the region is engaging with the       marketplace and provides strong support for the delivery of
Government and EU institutions to ensure that we have              this Strategy.
input into the review.

Our region will benefit from working with, and learning from,      8.6 Conclusion
other regions which have successfully implemented policies
we are pursuing, or who wish to develop understanding in           Chapter 2 set out challenges for the region; chapter 3 set out
partnership with the West Midlands.                                our approach to meeting them; chapters 4 to 8 detailed exactly
                                                                   how the region will address those challenges. The next chapter
A European Strategic Framework has been developed                  explains the three key delivery mechanisms which the region
through the Regional Assembly’s European and International         has made its focus for the delivery of the Strategy.
Affairs Partnership. This sets out a framework for better
engagement with European institutions, activities and the
soon-to-be enlarged European Single Market to help deliver
the Vision. It also identifies areas where such engagement
will help to ensure delivery against the aims of each of the
Pillars. The Framework sets out four pathways:

• Gearing up to drive the agenda forward: creating effective
  strategic leadership of European affairs – including further
  development of the West Midlands in Europe Partnership
  and office;

• Delivering the European agenda: making the most of EU
  policy and funding opportunities. The region has been a
  major recipient of Structural Funds over the last 20 years
  and these have contributed to many of our most important
  developments. A full scale review of the future of Structural
  Funds post-2006 is underway and it is unlikely that the
  West Midlands will remain eligible for funding. We must
  therefore argue our case loudly and clearly for the funding
  required to deliver our priorities, and demonstrate how
  EU funding fits into that. This must go beyond Structural
  Funds to include the entire range of EU funding;

• Promoting the West Midlands as a premier European
  player in an enlarged European single market.
  Opportunities must be carefully assessed to balance the
  risks from expanding in familiar markets against the
  penetration of new and untried markets; and
40   |   Focusing Resources

          9. Focusing Resources

          9.1 Overall Aim

          The region’s response to the challenges we face has been set out in chapters 4 to 8. For this Strategy to succeed, tough choices have
          had to be made to concentrate resources and efforts to make a difference. Two of the top four challenges – for enterprise and
          manufacturing, and economic inclusion – will be met only if they are given prominence in the delivery of the Strategy, by targeting
          companies and communities where the challenges and the opportunities are greatest. Advantage West Midlands made the choice to
          put the majority of its efforts and funding behind three Key Delivery Mechanisms – Regeneration Zones, Business Clusters and High
          Technology Corridors. These are directly geared to deliver these two specific challenges and to link with delivery on other challenges.
          Partners have agreed with the choice to focus regional efforts and activity. However, the whole of the £20 billion of public sector
          resources potentially linked to this Strategy will not be focused solely on these specific challenges, or on the three Key Delivery
          Mechanisms. Other challenges require activity across the region, and therefore resources to deliver.

          9.2 Regeneration Zones

          The approach developed through Regeneration Zones                      • Create areas that were not constrained by administrative
          recognises that parts of the region, both urban and rural, are           boundaries; and
          economically ‘deprived’. These areas have retained the
                                                                                 • Take a long-term approach (10–15 years).
          characteristics of deprivation despite a long history of policy
          intervention in many cases. The fragmented nature of previous          Based on these requirements, six Regeneration Zones were
          policy intervention resulted in simplistic rather than holistic        identified. The 6 zones encompass concentrations of need.
          regeneration. This has led to the need for re-regeneration in          They include the 10% most deprived wards in the region,
          many locations, and a failure to connect deprived areas to             plus the majority of the 20% most deprived (see Annex F1).
          economic opportunities nearby.                                         They also incorporate many of the region’s most important
                                                                                 and exciting development opportunities. Current Zone
          Therefore, a fresh approach had to:
                                                                                 boundaries form the basis for specific regional planning
          • Target locations incorporating deprived areas and                    policy in the Secretary of State’s proposed changes to
            latent opportunities on a large enough scale to make                 Draft Regional Planning Guidance.
            a difference;
                                                                                 Similar principles were applied to the creation of five urban
          • Improve linkages between need and opportunity by tackling            and one rural area. However, need and opportunity are less
            poverty of aspirations and creating ‘bridges to success’;            geographically concentrated rurally, so the rural zone area is
                                                                                 large enough to include key opportunities existing within and
          • Combine and target resources and effort in these areas;
                                                                                 adjacent to market towns on the western side of the region.
                                                                                 Within urban zones, the role of town centres as the focus for
                                                                                 economic growth is a key consideration.
                                                                                                                 Focusing Resources    |   41

By 2010 we expect to see a varied pattern within                 Public sector funding for ZIPs over the next three years will
Regeneration Zones. All should have provided sufficient job      utilise a substantial proportion of Advantage West Midlands
opportunities for the employment and unemployment gap            funding together with European and local partner funding
between themselves and the regional average to have at           and will total £400 million.
least stabilised. Here, Zone designation will remain valid to
                                                                 Targets for planned activity through ZIPs for the period of
enable further development. In Zones where major new
private sector investment has been effectively generated,        the Strategy (2004–2010) are as follows:2
we expect to see the gap narrowed, and the Zone to be            • 19,000 jobs created;
developing higher added-value activity and job opportunities.
In these areas, Zone designation may no longer be required.
                                                                 • 55,000 learning opportunities provided; and
This target will be achieved only if public sector resources     • 600 hectares of brownfield land to be remediated.
available in the relevant areas are amalgamated to deliver
                                                                 Achievements against these targets will be tracked through
Zone strategies.
                                                                 the annual monitoring of the Action Plan (see section 11.2).
To deliver the Regeneration Zone idea, Partnership Boards
have been appointed which reflect the local community and        Though other regional areas may have some of the
local partners. These Boards link closely with Local Strategic   deprivation characteristics of Zones, current Zone
Partnerships, bringing together Neighbourhood Renewal            boundaries provide the basis for specific regional planning
and Neighbourhood Management activity within the wider           policy in the Secretary of State’s proposed changes to Draft
regeneration agenda of each Zone. The region’s approach          Regional Planning Guidance. This, alongside original
to key national policies and mechanisms is also driven           analysis, means that there is currently no justification for
through Regeneration Zones. Thus, the North Staffordshire        further Zone designation.
and South Black Country West Birmingham Zones also
contain the region’s two Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder
Schemes. The Sandwell Urban Regeneration Company
(URC) and the Walsall URC are also within Regeneration
Zones. Zone Partnerships have developed an overall long-
term vision for each Zone. Within that, they have prepared
Zone Implementation Plans (ZIPs), setting out a planning
framework and incorporating the projects and initiatives to
be delivered in each Zone.
                                                                 2 As well as the ZIP activity there is also a substantial amount of
                                                                   other activity funded by Advantage West Midlands and Objective
                                                                   2 within Regeneration Zones. We anticipate that including these
                                                                   other projects for the period of the Strategy (2004 – 2010) could
                                                                   increase the number of jobs created to 84,000.
42   |   Focusing Resources

          9.3 Business Clusters                                              The cluster approach encourages a broader adoption of
                                                                             the successful strategies used by competitive companies
          Chapter 2 clearly indicates the need for the West Midlands
                                                                             already making a difference in key markets and across
          business base to modernise and diversify. Some of our
                                                                             whole industries important to the region's longer-term
          companies are already successfully diversifying and
                                                                             development. Business Clusters are a force for change
          modernising, new firms are being formed and new
                                                                             contributing to sustainability. Industries likely to benefit
          investment attracted. However, the level of economic activity
                                                                             from the growth of Business Clusters will consume fewer
          would be much greater if connections could be made to
                                                                             physical materials and less energy per output compared
          sources of technology, skills, finance, land, suppliers and
                                                                             with the traditional industrial profile of the region.
          potential customers (both public and private) for
          organisations working towards the same end market. In              Together these Business Clusters represent a focused
          effect, spreading increased ‘know how’ to generate growth,         approach to modernisation and diversification. By 2010 they
          strengthening resources and providing facilities.                  will have improved productivity levels in the region and the
                                                                             number and value of jobs in Business Clusters. Each
          These connections form the core of the cluster approach.
                                                                             Business Cluster will contribute in different ways.
          The nature of such complex linkages means that clusters do
          not necessarily operate in tightly defined geographical areas;     Established Business Clusters will need to rapidly increase
          they can be region-wide or cross regional boundaries.              productivity within manufacturing firms. They do and will
          Indeed, networks of companies have successfully operated           continue to experience some reduction in employment, but
          across national boundaries, and there is an international          must increase productivity to retain a competitive edge.
          drive to exploit this form of activity. In this region we have     Growing Business Clusters are more likely to expand
          identified ten Business Clusters for support and                   through increased employment opportunities. Growth in
          development (see Figure 4). Our higher education and               embryonic Business Clusters is unlikely to be rapid initially,
          research establishments are important to the development           but the region will be placed to take advantage of future
          of Business Clusters, and their potential to grow and link         opportunities, including employment growth. The net effect
          with new economic activity is one element of Business              on employment in the region will be positive, as associated
          Clusters that has a specific spatial dimension.                    service sector employment grows.

         Figure 4 – Stage of Development of Business Clusters

            We have identified that the ten Business Clusters fall into three stages of development in the region
            (for full details see Annex F2):

                • Established – where the objective is to assist our established clusters to modernise and diversify.
                  These clusters are: transport technologies; building technologies; food and drink; tourism and leisure;
                  and high value-added consumer products;

                • Growing – where the objective is to provide support for our developing clusters with growth potential.
                  These clusters are: specialist business and professional services; information and communication
                  technologies; and environmental technologies; and

                • Embryonic or aspirational – where the objective is to nurture the development of embryonic clusters
                  with potential for growth. These clusters are: screen and new media for education and entertainment;
                  and medical technologies.
                                                                                                                 Focusing Resources   |   43

For each Business Cluster a Cluster Action Plan and            By 2010, each of the HTCs should show a net increase in
Business Needs Analysis have been produced and a Cluster       employment, especially in higher added value industrial and
Opportunity Group (COG) established. These business-led        commercial activities, and resources existing in higher
COGs bring together private sector and key public sector       education and research institutes will lead to increased
organisations to deliver the cluster agenda. Advantage         economic activity and output. Significant new private sector
West Midlands Cluster Managers, with support from              investment should have occurred at key nodes in the
cluster-dedicated posts in higher education institutions,      corridors. The success of HTCs depends on partners’
Local Learning and Skills Councils and Business Links will     funding being aligned behind the corridor strategies.
provide executive support to COGs.
                                                               A detailed action plan has been developed by partnerships
An overall Cluster Action Plan sets out activities to be       in each HTC. In two (Central Technology Belt and
undertaken. This is funded by £250 million of public and       Telford/Wolverhampton) there is particular emphasis on
private sector resources over the next five years, catalysed   acquiring and developing a portfolio of sites to support
by money from Advantage West Midlands and European             the growth of Business Clusters. In the Coventry, Solihull,
Structural Funds. In addition, an Environmental Business       Warwickshire (CSW) area, the emphasis is on building
Growth Action Plan and an Accelerate Action Plan are           on the existing strengths of a high technology business
focused on cluster activity.                                   base and addressing weaknesses in networking. The
                                                               HTCs do not have strictly defined boundaries but have
The targets to be achieved through cluster-focused action
                                                               been identified in order to create initial attention from
plans, for the period covered by this Strategy (2004–2010),
                                                               target companies and to provide a focus for public and
are as follows:
                                                               private sector investment. They provide a key element
• 35,000 jobs created and safeguarded;                         in the Secretary of State’s proposed changes to Regional
• 16,000 new and improved businesses; and                      Planning Guidance. Partnership mechanisms for each HTC
                                                               reflect local circumstances. The HTC initiative is supported
• 22,000 vocational qualifications achieved.                   by £55 million of funding from Europe, the Department of
Achievements against these targets will be tracked through     Trade and Industry and Advantage West Midlands.
the annual monitoring of the Action Plan (see section 11.2).   The targets to be achieved by the projects in all HTCs for
                                                               the period covered by this Strategy (2004-2010) are as
9.4 High Technology Corridors                                  follows:3

Analysis has identified potential offered by the knowledge     • 7,000 jobs created and safeguarded;
economy, together with over-dependence on certain
                                                               • 2,500 new and improved businesses;
industries. High Technology Corridors (HTCs) have been
established to attract and develop high-tech, high value-      • 15 hectares of brownfield land reclaimed; and
added businesses into three parts of the region, utilising     • £23 million of private sector investment.
existing research institutions, universities and property
opportunities including incubator and ‘grow-on’ space          As with Regeneration Zones and Business Cluster activity,
(see Annex F3). The HTCs are located in areas particularly     achievements against the HTC targets will be tracked
dependent on the automotive industry. The term corridor        through the annual monitoring of the Action Plan (see
reflects the functional linkages between activities in the     section 11.2).
corridor. It does not imply any form of ribbon development,
as the policy within the Secretary of State’s proposed
changes to Draft Regional Planning Guidance makes clear.

                                                               3 These targets are based on those projects currently being
                                                                 developed. We anticipate that as the detailed action plans are
                                                                 created, the overall targets for the Corridor Initiative will be
                                                                 considerably higher.
44   |   Focusing Resources

          9.5 Inter-relationships between Regeneration Zones,
          High Technology Corridors and Business Clusters

          These three delivery mechanisms cannot be considered in            Some Zones and High Technology Corridors overlap, and
          isolation. Figure 5 sets out the connections between the three     the partners involved will need to ensure that their work is
          and shows that where the policy objectives overlap, there can      complementary, and that local people benefit from the High
          be joint activity and benefit. Advantage West Midlands needs       Technology Corridor’s activity.
          to ensure that it facilitates these connections.                   When regional Business Cluster activity is to be focused
          Therefore, when a regional Business Cluster project is             within a High Technology Corridor then the two sets of
          located within a Regeneration Zone, it will be important to        partnerships (Cluster Opportunity Groups and High
          ensure that it is linked to the Regeneration Zone Board work       Technology Corridor Partnerships) will need to work together.
          on local opportunities.

          Figure 5 – Links between the Key Delivery Mechanisms

                  Ten Business Clusters                                                                 Six Regeneration Zones
                                                            Zones may include activity in
                 Region-wide approach to                     regional Business Clusters                 Identification of local needs
                  business development                                                                       and opportunities

                               Corridors offer opportunities in                         Corridors can make a direct
                              growing and embryonic Clusters                               contribution to Zones

                                                              Three High Technology

                                                          Areas of focus for opportunities
                                                              in the region’s clusters
                                                                                                              Focusing Resources   |   45

9.6 Other priorities                                             9.7 Conclusion

The three Key Delivery Mechanisms provide the priority           This chapter illustrates the tough choices made for
focus for interventions. The Business Cluster mechanism,         the delivery of this Strategy. The next chapter sets out
and some other policies, are initiatives that can apply          the partners and processes involved in making that
anywhere in the region. Regeneration Zones and High              delivery happen.
Technology Corridors are primary mechanisms focused on
specific parts of the region. In particular, Regeneration
Zones are a focused way to meet the Communities
challenge. However, for that challenge to be fully delivered,
two supporting policies have been developed to pick up on
opportunities not directly addressed by Regeneration Zones.

The region recognises the key role market towns play
in regenerating rural areas – both within the Rural
Regeneration Zone and in other rural parts of the region.
A regional Market Towns Initiative addresses this issue.
This works through selecting market towns on the basis
of their economic need, combined with their capacity to
take advantage of economic, social and employment
opportunities. A Market Towns Steering Group oversees
development of this policy, which provides local partnerships
with the capacity to tackle the identified issues through a
3–4 year action plan.

The West Midlands Towns Economic Interventions Study
(access via has identified many
towns across the region which have either the potential for
further growth or are vulnerable to economic decline. The
regional policy response, through a partnership between
Advantage West Midlands, Sub-regional Economic
Partnerships, local authorities and the Regional Assembly,
will set out criteria to judge the conditions of these towns,
and to understand the need and priority for intervention.
The sub-regional partnership will develop a co-ordinated
approach to catalyse support from local and regional
partners. The menu of policy responses must build on the
idea of town centres as the focus for growth, and identify
the extent to which policy mechanisms, such as Business
Improvement Districts, are appropriate. Some of these
towns are in former Coalfields areas, and existing Coalfields
support programmes will also be part of the overall
approach in relevant towns. Annex G contains details on
sub-regional partnerships and their activities. This approach
towards these towns does not mean that regional and sub-
regional partners will do everything – tough choices will need
to be made about where to focus funding and activity.
46   |   The Role for Partners

          10. The Role for Partners

          10.1 Chapters 4–9 set out how the region will realise its Vision – a Vision which will only be made reality through partners
          working together across the region. This chapter sets out the way in which partners across all sectors and areas of our region
          have important roles to play.

          10.2 Partnership                                                     10.4 The Role for Sub-Regional Economic Partnerships
          The last four years have seen an unparalleled expansion of           The role of sub-regional economic partnerships is vital to the
          organisations, mechanisms and activities working in partnership      delivery of our Vision for 2010. They draw together organisations
          to secure economic development for the West Midlands.                at a more local level and their size, scale and remit therefore vary
          Partnership working is a real strength and brings competitive        across the region, and reflect differing approaches. Some
          advantage to the region. Partnerships are co-ordinated through       partnerships have a delivery role; all have a strategic role.
          the West Midlands Regional Concordat which is overseen by            These partnerships champion their sub-regions at regional level,
          the West Midlands Regional Assembly (WMRA).                          and ensure that the sub-regional dimension of each policy area
          The Regional Concordat provides a framework for partnership          in this Strategy is understood and incorporated into the regional
          working between regional organisations and assists the Regional      approach where appropriate. Partnerships are developing
          Assembly in ensuring coherence between regional strategies. It       protocols which encompass the roles different partners play in
          is a voluntary agreement to which ten regional organisations are     the delivery of regional and sub-regional strategies.
          fully committed in the spirit of open and inclusive regional         The sub-regional dimension of other strategies is under
          governance (See Annex H for details).                                development. The nature of partnerships may necessarily vary,
                                                                               and there is a need at regional level, through Regional
          10.3 The Role of the West Midlands Regional Assembly                 Concordat partners, to create understanding of a regional
                                                                               approach requiring both flexibility and clarity regarding
          WMRA, which fully endorses and supports Delivering                   relationships between the region and its sub-regions.
          Advantage, has the leading regional role in ensuring consistency
          between different regional strategies. It is responsible for the     Each sub-region has developed its own approach, and these
          Regional Concordat and has several additional roles in relation      illustrate individual sub-regional responses to the challenges and
          to this Strategy. As part of its scrutiny function, it will review   policies in this Strategy (see Annex G). Some sub-regional
          progress throughout the life of the Strategy, identify issues        economic partnerships are leading on activity that involves more
          partners need to address for fully effective delivery and work to    than one sub-region. For example, the Birmingham and Solihull
          make that happen. In addition, WMRA will deliver or make a           Economic Development Partnership is leading on developing a
          major contribution to certain actions, particularly in respect of    Core City prospectus as part of the Office of the Deputy Prime
          promoting and lobbying for the region. As the Regional Planning      Minister’s national initiative. It will continue to work with key
          Body, WMRA also has a role in ensuring consistency between           regional partners to ensure alignment between the prospectus
          the delivery of the emerging Regional Planning Guidance and          and Delivering Advantage.
          the West Midlands Economic Strategy.
                                                                                                            The Role for Partners   |   47

10.5 The Role for Business                                      10.6 The Role for Public Sector Partners

Without private sector investment, wealth will not be created   We estimate (see Figure 6) that nearly £100 billion of public
and new and improved job opportunities will fail to emerge.     sector resources will come into the region over the next five
Public sector resources, although substantial, account for      years. Around £20 billion of this is directly for economic
less than one third of regional GDP. Actions supported by       development and regeneration. £2 billion of this is resource
public sector resources must catalyse and lever even more       from Advantage West Midlands and European Structural
substantial private sector investment.                          Funds, directly allocated to deliver projects within Delivering
More therefore needs to be done to engage business              Advantage. As well as this £2 billion, around £7 billion more is
people in partnerships and delivering action. Encouraging       currently likely to be fully or significantly influenced by the
involvement in what are often perceived as bureaucratic         Strategy – including the resources of partners such as the
organisations and processes is not easy, but without the        Business Links and Learning and Skills Councils, each of which
energy and involvement of our business people, the region       has agreements with Advantage West Midlands to help deliver
will not achieve the increased jobs and prosperity it seeks.    key parts of the Strategy.
The new West Midlands Business Council will help to
                                                                The task for partners is to find ways of maintaining greater
engender a sense of ownership, co-ordination and
                                                                influence over public sector resources not currently much
corporate social responsibility within business, and
                                                                influenced by the Strategy, but which could have a major
encourage businesses to recognise the benefit of full
                                                                impact (for example National Health Service resources – see
engagement, especially in Regeneration Zone Boards
and Cluster Opportunity Groups.                                 Section 10.10).

                                                                Existing European Structural Funding is closely aligned to
                                                                Delivering Advantage, particularly the Objective 2 programme
                                                                that focuses £550 million of funding behind the Strategy. The
                                                                future of this funding after 2006 is under review, and the
                                                                region’s economic case and our ability to align funding behind
                                                                priorities need to be made clear. However, post-2006 this
                                                                funding is likely to decrease significantly.
48   |   The Role for Partners

          Figure 6 – Estimated Public Sector Resources: West Midlands Region (total for the five years 2001/02 to 2005/06)

                                                       Total Public Sector Resources: £100 Billion

                Core and Semi-Related Resources to Economic
                                                                                                 Other Public Sector Resources:
                       Development and Regeneration:
                                                                                           £47 billion (health, crime, social services, fire)
                                         £53 billion

                                                                                                     Semi-Related Resources
                   Core Resources for Economic Development                                  Partially influenced by Delivering Advantage
                              and Regeneration:                                                                 £32 billion
                                         £20 billion                                      (housing, school/pre-school, education, sports,
                                                                                                     arts, environment, lottery)

                                                           Degree of Influence of Delivering Advantage

            Advantage West Midlands                      Fully Influenced:          Significantly Influenced:                 Partially/Negligibly
                    Budget                             £1 billion (6% of core)       £7 billion (34% of core)                    Influenced:
               £1 billion (6% of core)                 Small Business Service        EU Objective 3, Land,                £11 billion (54% of core)
                                                        Business Support,          Learning and Skills Council,              Rural, Transport,
                                                          EU Objective 2               Further Education,                 Unemployment Support,
                                                                                    Neighbourhood Renewal                    Higher Education

                                                                                                                        Source: Regeneris Consulting

          In addition to holding resources, public sector partners have a direct role in offering access to opportunity, and a huge role as
          regional employers recruiting, training and contracting out work.

          10.7 The Role for Advantage West Midlands                                10.8 The Role for Local Authorities

          Advantage West Midlands is one of many regional partners                 Local authorities, as well as being employers and
          involved in this Strategy. It has a clear leadership role: to            purchasers, also have a strong leadership role in local and
          ensure that its resources, and those of partners, are used to            sub-regional partnerships, significant economic development
          deliver this strategy in an integrated way; and to ensure the            budgets, responsibility for education provision and a major
          voice of the region is heard by decision makers nationally               role to play in many other key issues in the Strategy. The
          and in Europe. It will focus its resources on creating more              West Midlands Local Government Association (WMLGA) will
          and better jobs, and improving the quality of life.                      continue to co-ordinate the role of local authorities.

          The way in which Advantage West Midlands will deploy its
          resources behind the Strategy is set down within its three
          year Corporate Plan (see
                                                                                                                 The Role for Partners   |   49

10.9 The Role for Government Office                               10.11 The Role for the Third Sector

The Government Office for the West Midlands (GOWM), the           The Third Sector comprises voluntary, community, social
regional presence for central government, has and will retain     and environmental enterprises. This sector comprises
a major role in ensuring co-ordination of government activity     18,300 organisations, a paid workforce of 44,000 and an
in support of the Strategy, that the regional approach is         unpaid workforce of 435,000. The overall value of the sector
consistent with the national approach, and that the region’s      in the region is around £330 million.
issues are heard in Whitehall.
                                                                  The sector will be enabled to ‘breathe life’ into community
                                                                  cohesion and social inclusion strategies and to act as
10.10 The Role for the National Health Service (NHS)              advocates and champions for our communities, and our
                                                                  environment, and become ‘world-class’ service providers. We
The NHS has a major role to play in the region’s economy,
                                                                  will also enable the Third Sector to bring its ‘grass roots reality’
and in key elements of this Strategy:
                                                                  to the boards of delivery partnerships. This Strategy recognises
• The NHS is a major employer in the region with an               that Third Sector organisations need community capacity
  estimated 100,000 people directly employed. This                building in order for effective local governance and local
  number is likely to increase over the next few years. We        ownership. It also acknowledges that fewer and more effective
  must ensure that employment opportunities provided by           consultation forums must be put in place to allow best use to
  the NHS benefit the people of the region;                       be made of scarce Third Sector human resources.
• NHS procurement is significant, with the Service                Community-led ‘inside out’ approaches to community
  spending an estimated £2 billion per year on goods and          regeneration are the preferred option, i.e. locally managed
  services across the region. Much of this is currently spent     social firms, community enterprises, and initiatives from
  outside the region. This resource must be tapped to             voluntary organisations and community groups. The Strategy
  secure more local procurement within the region;                recognises that ‘locally owned’ community projects have
• Major capital investment is programmed for the NHS. Its         better prospects for sustainability than ‘imports’ led by
  major regeneration developments must be tied into the           regeneration professionals living elsewhere.
  visions for Regeneration Zones and advantage taken of
  their role as catalysts for regeneration; and

• The NHS is a driver for and developer of technological
  advances. We must develop further the way in which this
  feeds through to opportunities for business.

A strategic approach engaging the NHS in the delivery of this
Strategy, involving the three Strategic Health Authorities, the
NHS Trusts and the Public Health Group at the Government
Office for the West Midlands is under development.
50   |   The Role for Partners

          10.12 The Role for Higher Education                                   10.13 Joint Action

          Universities and higher education institutions play a major role in   Recognising the importance of individual decision making by
          economic development. There are three elements to university          partners, the region is also firmly set on the path of partners
          performance – teaching, research and ‘third leg’ activities           working together. This is evident in a number of formal
          working with the community.                                           arrangements and organisations set up over recent years:

          The region must develop a coherent approach to our higher             • The West Midlands in Europe Partnership, created in 2000 to
          education system which recognises the different but                     enable the region to speak with one voice to the institutions
          complementary roles played by different institutions. We will gain      of Europe;
          competitive advantage by all our institutions being top of their
                                                                                • The West Midlands Regional Data and Intelligence
          own class and working in innovative and collaborative ways,
                                                                                  Observatory, created in 2002;
          linking in to business and other regional partners.
                                                                                • RegenWM, the West Midlands Centre for Regeneration
          We must ensure the region retains its ‘research power’ – the
                                                                                  Excellence, set up in 2003;
          proportion of research funding coming to our universities that
          have departments with 5* ratings. Birmingham and Warwick are          • West Midlands Networking Company Ltd (formed in 2003)
          the two universities in the region in the highest ranks.                and the West Midlands Aggregation Board, to promote and
                                                                                  develop the provision and use of broadband;
          Some universities have areas of highly rated specialist research.
          The region needs to support retention and development in these        • West Midlands Life, the Regional Cultural Consortium
          areas and help them in their key regional role. Universities are        established in 1999 to bring together all the region’s cultural
          key players in High Technology Corridors, through spin-offs and         agencies and providers;
          knowledge and technology transfer.                                    • The West Midlands Strategic Tourism Body, to be established
          Our universities have a critical role to play in improving the          in 2004, to oversee the implementation of the Visitor
          region’s learning and skills base – for example by making               Economy Strategy; and
          provision for needs identified through Cluster Opportunity            • The Business Link Pilot, where the Small Business Service
          Groups and Learning and Skills Councils. They also have a               and Advantage West Midlands are developing a co-ordinated
          critical role in working with small business – offering specialist      approach for managing their programmes that are delivered
          help to solve business problems, and using their experience and         through the region’s six Business Links operators.
          knowledge of regeneration to aid local partnerships. There is
          potential within the teaching role for universities to collaborate    A further dimension of working together is for public sector
          and benefit from differing expertise.                                 partners to simplify and co-ordinate the appraisal and
                                                                                monitoring of projects, building on the agreement already in
                                                                                place between the Government Office for the West Midlands
                                                                                and Advantage West Midlands.

                                                                                This also requires a coherent approach to assessing projects
                                                                                and programmes for their contribution to certain policy
                                                                                perspectives, including sustainable development (incorporating
                                                                                the use of approved techniques for environmental assessment)
                                                                                and rural policy.
                                                                                                                  The Role for Partners    |   51

10.14 The Region’s Capacity to Deliver                                10.15 Conclusion

To deliver the Strategy, all partners need to both understand and     This chapter has set down the way in which partners are going
own their role. Equally importantly, world-class achievement          to work together to deliver the Strategy. The next chapter details
requires world-class organisations. A critical assessment must        who is going to do what regarding the top priority actions.
therefore be made of the capacity of organisations and
partnerships together with any restraints they face in the ability
to play their part.

A serious regional shortage of skilled practitioners in most areas
of regeneration and economic development will be addressed
through an integrated approach to learning, training and
development involving all our universities and colleges. Specific
actions will include:

• RegenWM (The West Midlands Centre for Regeneration
  Excellence) developing medium and longer-term plans for
  increasing the stock of qualified regeneration practitioners –
  including looking at innovative schemes for placements and
  work shadowing;

• Work between schools, universities, Connexions and public
  sector organisations to promote and publicise careers in
  regeneration and economic development;

• Innovative ways of funding bursaries for undergraduate
  students wishing to gain experience in regeneration;

• Joint action by public organisations on recruitment, training
  and sharing of expertise; and

• Continuation of current training courses on European
  Structural Funds and widening out into other funding, project
  development and management issues.

There is also a need for capacity building at all levels across the
region to ensure strategic focus, clarity of vision and decision
making and effective management. We need to be able to
consistently attract and retain the best candidates at a national
and international level in the private and public sector.

The region also needs to ensure that full use is made of talent
available across sectors – by all partners adhering to the
principles of equality of opportunity, inclusion and diversity in
their own activity and in the way partnership groups are set up.
52   |   Action Plan

          11. Action Plan

          11.1 Introduction

          This Action Plan comprises the 45 actions agreed by partners and partnerships. These will ensure delivery of the West Midlands
          Economic Strategy under the four Pillars and Powerful Voice for the Region. The actions are identified in broad terms and then
          show the key steps to be completed over the next three years. The Action Plan also identifies which regional partnership body
          or organisation has responsibility for implementing each action. Many actions have been agreed by regional partnerships as part
          of their detailed work. In undertaking this work, partnerships have identified specific organisations, resources and projects
          supporting the wider actions listed here which will deliver the outputs and outcomes required to meet the Vision.

                                                                             A colour coding is used in the Action Plan to illustrate the
                                                                             linkages between the priority actions and the three key
           Regeneration Zones    Business Clusters      High Technology      regional delivery mechanisms. Actions without colour coding
                                                           Corridors         have no specific activity for the key regional delivery
                                                                             mechanisms (e.g. are region-wide initiatives).

          11.2 Monitoring and Review

          The Action Plan will be reviewed on an annual basis.               Advantage West Midlands will produce an annual monitoring
          Advantage West Midlands is not the lead partner for all the        report, based on information provided by lead organisations
          actions, but is engaged in the majority of the partnerships        and partnerships. This will be published on the Advantage
          taking lead roles, and will therefore be directly leading on the   West Midlands website, and will assist the Regional
          co-ordination of work to deliver the Action Plan. The Agency       Assembly’s scrutiny of the progress of the West Midlands
          will, therefore, take on the role of reviewing the Action Plan.    Economic Strategy. The first annual monitoring report will be
          Each lead organisation or partnership will be asked by             produced early in 2005 and the first updated, rolled-forward
          Advantage West Midlands to report on:                              Action Plan will be agreed between Advantage West
                                                                             Midlands and the Regional Assembly at that time.
          • Progress with the action;
          • Achievements against targets;                                    The content and format of the annual monitoring report
          • Achievements in relation to baseline data (as set out in         may need revision to fulfil government requirements for
            Annex A) and the State of the Region report; and                 measurement of regional economic activity. Discussion is
                                                                             currently underway to explore the establishment of common
          • Any changes to actions, as a result of review or
                                                                             performance monitoring across all the regions, and this is
            additional research.
                                                                             likely to apply from April 2005 onwards.
          They will also be required to roll the Action Plan
          forward by a year.
                                                                                                                                                                   Action Plan: Pillar 1   |   53

PILLAR 1: Developing a Diverse and Dynamic Business Base

 Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                              Lead Partner               Next Steps

 1.                  4.2                 Develop an enterprise                       Regional         • Develop an action plan to address the priority
                                         culture that encourages                     Entrepreneurship   areas. (2004).
                                         people from under-                          Group,           • Develop and implement a ‘young enterprise and
                                         represented groups                                             entrepreneurship framework.’ (2004).
                                                                                     Minority Ethnic
                                         (including women, young
                                                                                     Business Forum • Complete and implement an action plan to
                                         people, ethnic minorities
                                                                                                        encourage the formation and development of
                                         and disabled people) to be                  and
                                                                                                        businesses led by women, including an action plan
                                         able to become part of
                                                                                     Regional           for the provision of affordable childcare. (2006).
                                         this culture.*
                                                                                     Women and        • Further tailor the work, accessibility, and relevance
                                                                                     Enterprise         of business support to existing businesses and
                                                                                     Group.             new start-ups from minority ethnic communities.

 Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                              Lead Partner               Next Steps

 2.                  4.3                 Create a supportive                         The Beacon                • Develop further Regional Centres of Excellence,
                                         environment that helps grow                 Manufacturing               building on the success of the Manufacturing
                                         manufacturing enterprise.*                  Group.                      Advisory Service and the Manufacturing
                                                                                                                 Foundation. (2006).
                                                                                                               • Extend the modernisation and diversification
                                                                                                                 programmes to all the established clusters.
                                                                                                               • Develop a manufacturing best practice region.

 Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                              Lead Partner               Next Steps

 3.                  4.2                 Integrate support to improve                ICT Steering              • Implement the Regional e-Business
                     6.3                 the uptake of e-Business                    Group.                      Development Initiative to support the adoption
                                         applications.*                                                          and progression of e-Business activity to
                                                                                                                 increase access to broadband technologies
                                                                                                                 and online services. (2004).
                                                                                                               • Continue to develop the Regional E-Portal
                                                                                                                 ( as a focus for collaborative
                                                                                                                 online networking, building online partnership
                                                                                                                 and encouraging SME inclusion, particularly
                                                                                                                 within priority clusters and excluded business
                                                                                                                 communities. (ongoing).

* Priority Actions with an asterisk (*) indicate actions which cover the themes of the Enterprise Framework, which is overseen by the Enterprise Board (see section 4.2).

                                                                                                                                            Regeneration       Business     Technology
                                                                                                                                               Zones           Clusters      Corridors
54   |   Action Plan: Pillar 1

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                             Lead Partner               Next Steps

           4.                  4.2                 Implement a coherent                        Regional Rural            • Complete the development of an Agricultural
                               4.6                 programme to support rural                  Affairs Forum,              Export Centre of Excellence and the Royal
                                                   renaissance.*                               Rural Accord                Agricultural Society of England’s Rural Enterprise
                                                                                               Partners,                   Park at Stoneleigh. (2004).
                                                                                               and                       • Encourage and support farmers and rural
                                                                                                                           businesses to take advantage of the economic
                                                                                               Rural Business
                                                                                                                           benefits of the England Rural Development Plan.
                                                                                               Advisory Group.
                                                                                                                         • Develop the economic benefits from the
                                                                                                                           outstanding environmental assets of the region,
                                                                                                                           particularly the Areas of Outstanding Natural
                                                                                                                           Beauty. (ongoing).
                                                                                                                         • Review current rural business support activity and
                                                                                                                           develop and implement a model providing
                                                                                                                           outreach advice, linking and integrating
                                                                                                                           farm-based advice and other services available
                                                                                                                           through Business Links and the Rural
                                                                                                                           Development Service. (2006).
                                                                                                                         • Develop projects to take advantage of regional
                                                                                                                           expertise in biomass, from both fuel crops and
                                                                                                                           waste. (ongoing).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                             Lead Partner               Next Steps

           5.                  4.2                 Develop a regional approach                 Regional                  • Create a Regional Business Crime Reduction
                                                   to tackling crime against                   Business Crime              Centre based at Birmingham Chamber of
                                                   business.*                                  Partnership.                Commerce. (2004).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                             Lead Partner               Next Steps

           6.                  4.2                 Develop a strategy to                       Regional                  • Support business start-up including spin-out
                                                   encourage business start                    Business Start              activity from higher education institutions,
                                                   ups and to improve survival                 Up Group                    research centres and firms in clusters and
                                                   rates, including the use of                 and                         follow-through post-incubator support. (ongoing).
                                                   business incubation.*                                                 • Develop a range of incubation facilities to
                                                                                               Incubation                  support generic and specialist business start-up
                                                                                               Group.                      needs, linked to cluster development. (ongoing).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                             Lead Partner               Next Steps

           7.                  4.2                 Ensure mainstream business                  Regional Social           • Complete development of and launch Social
                                                   support helps to develop a                  Enterprise                  Enterprise Framework and Action Plan. (2004).
                                                   stronger base, raise the                    Network                   • Ensure the provision of specific support through
           (see also
                                                   profile and support the                     and                         mainstream business support agencies. (ongoing).
           Action 39)
                                                   growth of sustainable social
                                                                                               Regional                  • Improve social enterprises’ ability to bid for
                                                                                               Finance Forum.              contracts through tailored business support.
                                                                                                                         • Have in place a comprehensive suite of start-up
                                                                                                                           and expansion finance for social enterprises and
                                                                                                                           associated business/ investment readiness
                                                                                                                           support. (2005).

          * Priority Actions with an asterisk (*) indicate actions which cover the themes of the Enterprise Framework, which is overseen by the Enterprise Board (see section 4.2).
                                                                                                                                                                   Action Plan: Pillar 1   |   55

 Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                              Lead Partner               Next Steps

 8.                  4.4                 Increase the supply of                      Regional                   • Have in place new funds to meet identified gaps
                                         Regional Risk Capital                       Finance Forum.               in existing provision, including small loan finance
                                         and improve access to                                                    though the development of Community
                                         finance for SMEs and                                                     Development Finance Institutions, an early
                                         middle-sized firms.*                                                     growth fund to provide risk capital up to £50,000
                                                                                                                  per investment and a (circa £50 million)
                                                                                                                  Advantage Enterprise and Innovation Fund to
                                                                                                                  fill the ‘equity gap’ of up to £2 million. (2004).
                                                                                                                • Enhance the range of investment readiness
                                                                                                                  services in the region by creating an £8 million
                                                                                                                  programme of awareness raising, education,
                                                                                                                  support for the development of complex financial
                                                                                                                  packages and post-investment mentoring, in
                                                                                                                  particular to address difficulties facing specific
                                                                                                                  types of businesses, including black and minority
                                                                                                                  ethnic businesses, and those from
                                                                                                                  disadvantaged groups and communities. (2004).
                                                                                                                • Co-ordinate use of the existing system of
                                                                                                                  national grant schemes (including Regional
                                                                                                                  Selective Assistance and Enterprise Grant) and
                                                                                                                  any future changes to the system to ensure they
                                                                                                                  meet the needs of the region’s businesses.
                                                                                                                • Further develop the Access to Finance website –
                                                                                                                  a full virtual one-stop shop for applying online for
                                                                                                                  public sector funding
                                                                                                                  ( (ongoing).
                                                                                                                • Establish a Local Business Exchange for the
                                                                                                                  region to provide an alternative to the main
                                                                                                                  markets for small and medium-sized companies
                                                                                                                  to raise both equity and fixed income capital in a
                                                                                                                  cost-effective way. (2005).
                                                                                                                • Build on the pilot business turnaround scheme
                                                                                                                  to ensure early warning and provide support for
                                                                                                                  viable businesses with temporary difficulties.

* Priority Actions with an asterisk (*) indicate actions which cover the themes of the Enterprise Framework, which is overseen by the Enterprise Board (see section 4.2).

                                                                                                                                            Regeneration       Business     Technology
                                                                                                                                               Zones           Clusters      Corridors
56   |   Action Plan: Pillar 1

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                             Lead Partner               Next Steps

           9.                  4.5                 Develop an integrated                       Regional                  • Company development – providing the right skills
                                                   approach to increase                        Innovation                  and confidence for our people to lead and create
                                                   innovation and knowledge                    Strategy Group.             innovation; building businesses’ capacity to
                                                   transfer into the business                                              become ‘intelligent and visionary customers’ of
                                                   base to create higher added                                             the knowledge base; encouraging the use of
                                                   value products and services,                                            foresight and innovation benchmarking tools;
                                                   through implementation of                                               improving take-up of design resources in the
                                                   an updated Regional                                                     region; and developing specialist advisers to
                                                   Innovation Strategy.*                                                   help business make the most of opportunities.
                                                                                                                         • Resource development – providing access to
                                                                                                                           specialist equipment; delivering premises and
                                                                                                                           services for early stage and grow-on businesses;
                                                                                                                           access to resources to support innovation and
                                                                                                                           growth; and increasing Intellectual Property (IP)
                                                                                                                           management and exploitation. (ongoing).
                                                                                                                         • Knowledge development – transferring the full
                                                                                                                           potential of the region’s science, technology and
                                                                                                                           knowledge base into the private sector;
                                                                                                                           generating new knowledge to support the
                                                                                                                           development of priority clusters and technology
                                                                                                                           corridors; encouraging greater business-to-
                                                                                                                           business knowledge transfer; and making all of
                                                                                                                           these resources more easily accessible.
                                                                                                                         • Engaging with and developing the strategic
                                                                                                                           vision of the end user – providing innovation
                                                                                                                           support programmes focused on the needs of
                                                                                                                           the market, and particularly the future market;
                                                                                                                           engaging the media in an active campaign to
                                                                                                                           raise public awareness of all aspects of
                                                                                                                           innovation; and making innovation ‘stick’ by
                                                                                                                           creating innovation champions within the region.
                                                                                                                         • Investigate the need for a West Midlands
                                                                                                                           Science Council or alternative structure to
                                                                                                                           improve communication between business and
                                                                                                                           the knowledge base, implement the agreed
                                                                                                                           framework and put in place the agreed solution.

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                             Lead Partner               Next Steps

           10.                 All (see 9.3)       Implement the overall Cluster Ten Cluster                             • Cluster Opportunity Groups develop full strategies
                                                   Action Plan through targeted Opportunity                                for each Business Cluster. Agree within the next
                                                   interventions selected by     Groups.                                   six months targets for each Business Cluster
                                                   business to improve the                                                 against the strategies and their monitoring and
                                                   future prospects for                                                    evaluation. (2004).
                                                   Business Clusters.                                                    • Develop centres of cluster excellence in design
                                                                                                                           and technology and business support and
                                                                                                                           establish liaison with High Technology Corridors.
                                                                                                                         • Implement best practice in cluster activity across
                                                                                                                           all Business Clusters through sharing of research
                                                                                                                           and information. (ongoing).

          * Priority Actions with an asterisk (*) indicate actions which cover the themes of the Enterprise Framework, which is overseen by the Enterprise Board (see section 4.2).
                                                                                                                                                                   Action Plan: Pillar 1   |   57

 Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                              Lead Partner               Next Steps

 11.                 All (see 9.4)       Implement a planned                         Three High                • Partnerships create full strategies, projects and
                                         programme for the three High                Technology                  targets for each Corridor. (2004).
                                         Technology Corridors to                     Corridor                  • Deliver the catalyst projects in each Corridor.
                                         catalyse high technology                    Partnerships.               (ongoing).
                                                                                                               • Establish links between Cluster Opportunity Groups
                                                                                                                 and Corridors in order to support Corridor
                                                                                                                 development. (ongoing).

 Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                              Lead Partner               Next Steps

 12.                 4.6                 Implement the regional                      Advantage West • Increase overseas marketing activity to ensure
                                         inward investment strategy                  Midlands         that inward investment plays its part in cluster
                                         to ensure that the region                   and              development within the context of the Regional
                                         continues to attract new                                     Marketing Strategy. (ongoing).
                                         businesses in the ten                                      • Systematically raise the region’s profile in new
                                         Business Clusters.                                           markets, specifically those covered by the
                                                                                                      recently opened offices in Brussels, Paris, Toronto
                                                                                                      and Washington DC. (ongoing).
                                                                                                    • Review and refine operational protocols between
                                                                                                      Advantage West Midlands and the East Midlands
                                                                                                      Development Agency now that British Midlands’
                                                                                                      joint activity covers the whole of Asia-Pacific and
                                                                                                      North America. (2004).
                                                                                                    • Implement a number of specific actions required
                                                                                                      to attract inward investment into our rural areas.

 Action No. Section No. Priority Action                                              Lead Partner               Next Steps

 13.                 4.6                 Deliver the International                   Regional                  • Link the work of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)
                                         Trade Strategy by ensuring                  International               directly with that of Cluster Opportunity Groups
                                         that businesses are                         Trade Strategy              to ensure that UKTI’s services are geared to meet
                                         supported to internationalise               Group.                      the international needs of West Midlands
                                         themselves.*                                                            businesses. (ongoing).
                                                                                                               • Put in place a specific programme to assist
                                                                                                                 businesses to take advantage of trading
                                                                                                                 opportunities presented by enlargement of the
                                                                                                                 EU Single Market. (2004).
                                                                                                               • Develop the role and work of the NEC
                                                                                                                 International Office. (ongoing).

* Priority Actions with an asterisk (*) indicate actions which cover the themes of the Enterprise Framework, which is overseen by the Enterprise Board (see section 4.2).

                                                                                                                                            Regeneration       Business     Technology
                                                                                                                                               Zones           Clusters      Corridors
58   |   Action Plan: Pillar 1

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                  Lead Partner      Next Steps

           14.             4.7      Create and deliver a regional   Government        • Develop a Regional Energy Strategy as required
                                    approach to environmental       Office for the      by the Energy White Paper. (2004).
                                    business practice               West Midlands     • Deliver the Environmental Business Growth
                                                                    and                 Action Plan. (ongoing).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                  Lead Partner      Next Steps

           15.             4.7      Deliver strategic framework     Advantage West • Establish a national fuel cell centre. (2004).
                                    and approach to enable the      Midlands,        • Create and implement an action plan for
                                    West Midlands to gain           Birmingham         international partnerships to advance work on
                                    competitive advantage from      University         fuel cell technology. (2006).
                                    sustainable development
                                                                    and              • Create a regional industries symbiosis centre.
                                                                    Business Council   (2004).
                                                                    for Sustainable

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                  Lead Partner      Next Steps

           16.             4.8      Implement the West              West Midlands     • Create a new Regional Visitor Economy Strategy,
                                    Midlands Visitor Economy        Strategic           which defines the region’s priority issues. (2004).
                                    Strategy.                       Tourism Body.     • Develop projects to enhance the visitor economy
                                                                                        in the region, particularly concentrating on skills
                                                                                        development, quality product and consumer
                                                                                        experience, marketing, research and information,
                                                                                        the business visitor economy, rural innovation,
                                                                                        ICT development and interactive marketing,
                                                                                        improved access and quality. (ongoing).
                                                                                      • Launch and deliver the E-tourism Action Plan.
                                                                                      • Deliver the ‘Quality in the West Midlands’
                                                                                        programme. (2004).
                                                                                      • Ensure a linkage between the Visitor Economy
                                                                                        Strategy and the Regional Marketing Strategy,
                                                                                        ensuring that branding and marketing,
                                                                                        geographically and thematically, in the region and
                                                                                        nationally are coherent. (2005).
                                                                                      • Secure the future of Visit Heart of England as a
                                                                                        key regional organisation to help deliver the
                                                                                        Regional Visitor Economy Strategy. (2004-06).
                                                                                      • Develop a coherent plan for an international
                                                                                        dimension to tourism activity. (2005).
                                                                                                                   Action Plan: Pillar 2   |   59

PILLAR 2: Promoting a Learning and Skilful Region
Action No. Section No. Priority Action                   Lead Partner       Next Steps

17.         All         Develop and implement the        FRESA              • Analyse progress against the existing FRESA and
                        Framework for Regional           Executive            undertake detailed assessment of regional and
                        Employment and Skills            Group.               sub-regional issues. (2004).
                        Action (FRESA).                                     • Develop proposal for a new Regional Skills
                                                                              Partnership and ensure FRESA partnerships and
                                                                              work are integrated into the new approach.

Action No. Section No. Priority Action                   Lead Partner       Next Steps

18.         5.2         Implement initiatives to         Skills for Life    • Complete the launch of a range of initiatives to
                        increase basic skills,           Strategy Group.      improve basic skills levels in literacy, numeracy
                        particularly in Regeneration                          and ICT. (2006).
                        Zones, to tackle barriers to                        • Work with key partners including the Learning
                        employment and address                                and Skills Councils and the TUC to support the
                        recruitment shortages in key                          development of learning in the workplace to
                        sectors.                                              provide opportunities for all to reach their full
                                                                              potential. (ongoing).

Action No. Section No. Priority Action                   Lead Partner       Next Steps

19.         5.2         Design and implement a           ICT Learning       • Implement the Regional e-Learning Strategy and
            5.3         programme to address ICT         Task Group.          develop other flexible learning opportunities to
                        skills shortages and gaps.                            increase access to learning, particularly in rural
                                                                              areas. (2005).

Action No. Section No. Priority Action                   Lead Partner       Next Steps

20.         5.3         Deliver a co-ordinated           Partnerships for   • Develop and put in place initiatives to support the
                        approach and programmes          Progression,         progression of individuals from NVQ Level 3 to
                        to address higher level skills   ‘Aim Higher’         NVQ Level 4 and above. (2004).
                        shortages and skill gaps,        Regional           • Work with key partners to support the
                        and improve access to            Steering Group,      development of specific vocational guidance and
                        mature/adult apprenticeships                          labour market information to raise awareness of
                        in the workplace.                                     high value employment opportunities. (ongoing).
                                                         Six West
                                                         Midlands           • Increase access to Modern Apprenticeships and
                                                         Learning and         develop Adult Apprenticeship Programmes.
                                                         Skills Councils.     (ongoing).

Action No. Section No. Priority Action                   Lead Partner       Next Steps

21.         5.3         Deliver a co-ordinated           Six West           • Through regional lead arrangements and working
            5.4         programme to meet skill          Midlands             with the newly formed Sector Skills Councils,
                        needs in Business Clusters.      Learning and         provide and support the development and
                                                         Skills Councils.     delivery of Business Cluster specific skills projects
                                                                              to meet employer-identified needs. (ongoing).

                                                                                                 Regeneration   Business   Technology
                                                                                                    Zones       Clusters    Corridors
60   |   Action Plan: Pillar 2

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                      Lead Partner      Next Steps

           22.             5.3         Develop a co-ordinated           West Midlands    • Develop projects to support the development of
                           5.6         approach to delivering           Higher Education   innovation skills across clusters. (ongoing).
                                       improved innovation skills in    Association      • Rural Skills Development Group to develop and
                                       Business Clusters and higher     (WMHEA)            ensure delivery of proposals for addressing the
                                       education institutions (HEIs).   and                particular workforce development and provision
                                                                        Rural Skills       needs of rural areas. (ongoing).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                      Lead Partner      Next Steps

           23.             5.4         Inspire and engage leaders       Regional          • Develop an action plan to address the priority
                                       and managers to develop          Leadership and      areas. (2004).
                                       the skills and competencies      Management
                                       to stimulate a step-change in    Skills Group
                                       enterprise performance.          and
                                                                        Steering Group.

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                      Lead Partner      Next Steps

           24.             5.4         Improve access to and            Regional          • Produce and implement the regional action plan
                                       suitability of training          Leadership and      (as 23 above) including the implementation of key
                                       especially in management         Management          programmes to improve leadership and
                                       skills for SMEs to encourage     Skills Group.       management skills levels to address gaps
                                       greater participation and                            identified by employers, particularly in the ten
                                       capacity to manage change                            Business Clusters. (2004).
                                       (including not-for-profit
                                                                                          • Fully implement the Gateway to Management
                                                                                            Qualifications initiative, which aims to increase the
                                                                                            number of managers with relevant business
                                                                                            management training and qualifications that are
                                                                                            key to business competitiveness and employment
                                                                                            growth. (2006).
                                                                                          • Monitor progress and assess recommendations
                                                                                            relating to the developing government strategy on
                                                                                            Voluntary and Community Sector Workforce
                                                                                            Development. (2004).
                                                                                          • Establish a new Regional Group to champion
                                                                                            management development and increase
                                                                                            awareness of the importance of such skills across
                                                                                            the region. (2005).
                                                                                          • Develop innovative approaches on focused short
                                                                                            courses for managers. (2004).
                                                                                          • Develop environmental training programmes for
                                                                                            farmers linked to agri-environment schemes using
                                                                                            funding available through the England Rural
                                                                                            Development Plan. (2005).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                      Lead Partner      Next Steps

           25.             5.5         Implement an                     Regional Young • Develop and implement a young entrepreneurship
                           (see also   Entrepreneurship Strategy,       Entrepreneurship and enterprise framework. (2004).
                           Action 1)   especially to engage young       Group.
                                       people and other                 and
                                       (traditionally excluded)
                                                                        Local Education
                                       groups in developing the
                                       skills required to start up a
                                       small business.
                                                                                                             Action Plan: Pillar 3   |   61

PILLAR 3: Creating the Conditions for Growth
Action No. Section No. Priority Action                 Lead Partner   Next Steps

26.         6.2         Champion the delivery of the   Regional       • Develop the Regional Assembly Transport
                        Regional Transport Strategy    Assembly         Partnership as a focus of advocacy, lobbying on
                        and Regional ‘Transport        Transport        transport priorities, research and support in
                        Priorities’.                   Partnership.     improving the region’s transport system.
                                                                      • Ensure the Regional Transport Strategy in new
                                                                        Regional Planning Guidance is consistent with
                                                                        the delivery of Delivering Advantage. (ongoing).
                                                                      • Refresh and republish the Transport Priorities
                                                                        document in the light of the Regional Transport
                                                                        Strategy. (2005).
                                                                      • Examine and implement regional actions based
                                                                        on the results of a national study into innovative
                                                                        ways of funding the delivery of the transport
                                                                        priorities. (2006).

Action No. Section No. Priority Action                 Lead Partner   Next Steps

27.         6.3         Co-ordinate the upgrading of West Midlands    • Use the West Midlands Broadband Company Ltd
                        ICT infrastructure –         Broadband          to secure a regional broadband backbone for the
                        resources, networks, data    Partnership.       region. (2004).
                        and applications to make                      • Commence marketing to increase demand
                        broadband available to all                      beyond levels at which communications
                        businesses and 97% of                           providers will invest to deliver broadband. (2004).
                        households in the region by
                                                                      • Drive up usage of e-Business in the region by
                        the end of 2004.
                                                                        interaction with SME businesses through the
                                                                        REDI programme. (2004–06).
                                                                      • Undertake rural and remote area interventions
                                                                        which will procure broadband access coverage
                                                                        in areas of the region where real demand exists,
                                                                        using established and innovative technology
                                                                        solutions from a variety of suppliers.
                                                                      • Develop the regional e-Learning and
                                                                        e-Government agenda over the next 12 months.
                                                                      • Monitor broadband technology developments
                                                                        and formulate appropriate policy measures which
                                                                        will maintain or increase West Midlands’
                                                                        broadband competitive advantage. (ongoing).

                                                                                           Regeneration   Business   Technology
                                                                                              Zones       Clusters    Corridors
62   |   Action Plan: Pillar 3

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                 Lead Partner      Next Steps

           28.             6.4      Implement a strategic land     West Midlands  • Identify and implement strategic interventions in
                                    use programme.                 Regional         land and property to support a dynamic and
                                                                   Assembly         diverse business base and regenerate
                                                                   and              communities (consistent with emerging Regional
                                                                                    Planning Guidance). (ongoing).
                                                                   Advantage West
                                                                   Midlands.      • Review brownfield land and promote reuse
                                                                                    opportunities across the region – including
                                                                                    redundant rural buildings (consistent with
                                                                                    emerging Regional Planning Guidance). (2005).
                                                                                  • Develop projects to assemble and market the
                                                                                    Major Investment Site at Wobaston Road
                                                                                    (Wolverhampton/S.Staffs). (2005).
                                                                                  • Identify and develop Regional Investment Sites
                                                                                    (one to serve each Regeneration Zone and High
                                                                                    Technology Corridor). (2005).
                                                                                  • Create a Centre of Excellence in Land
                                                                                    Reclamation to develop projects to harness the
                                                                                    region’s significant experience in reclaiming
                                                                                    difficult sites. (2004).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                 Lead Partner      Next Steps

           29.             6.4      Implement the Regional         Regional       • Prioritise actions to support both
                                    Planning Guidance              Planning Body    strategies. (2004).
                                    framework and the WMES         and            • Report on progress on both action frameworks.
                                    Actions, ensuring alignment.                    (annual).
                                                                   Advantage West

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                 Lead Partner      Next Steps

           30.             6.4      Develop and introduce          Advantage West • Deliver projects to redevelop specific flagship
                           6.5      design standards to improve    Midlands,         sites such as the ‘Fort’ in Birmingham. (ongoing).
                                    the built environment in       RegenWM         • Develop the role of the Regeneration Centre of
                                    urban and rural areas.         Board,            Excellence (RegenWM) to fully become a
                                                                   West Midlands     ‘one-stop shop’ for regeneration advice and the
                                                                   Regional          regional portal for regeneration-related good
                                                                   Regeneration      practice. (2006).
                                                                   Partners        • Develop a Design Framework for the Region and
                                                                   and               implement key ‘design’ actions/processes
                                                                                     emanating from this. (2006).
                                                                   CABE and other
                                                                   Regional Design • Promote and support the role of Advantage West
                                                                   Partners.         Midlands’ ‘Regional Design Champion’ in
                                                                                     demonstrating the benefits of good design in the
                                                                                     region. (ongoing).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                 Lead Partner      Next Steps

           31.             6.4      Support and develop two        Advantage West • Establish the management and delivery
                           6.5      Urban Regeneration             Midlands,        arrangements for the Walsall Urban Regeneration
                                    Companies, one in Sandwell     Urban            Company. (2004).
                                    and one in Walsall, to co-     Regeneration   • Investigate the most appropriate delivery vehicle
                                    ordinate redevelopment and     Companies,       for North Staffordshire and implement the
                                    secure new investment in                        framework agreed with partners. (2004).
                                    declining urban areas;
                                                                   Zone Boards
                                    investigate the potential of
                                    other special purpose          and
                                    vehicles elsewhere in the      Pathfinder
                                    region.                        Boards.
                                                                                                             Action Plan: Pillar 3   |   63

Action No. Section No. Priority Action               Lead Partner     Next Steps

32.         6.4         Develop potential of the     Local            • Seek World Heritage Site status for the
                        West Midlands canal          Authorities,       Birmingham and Black Country Canal Navigation
                        network for rural            British            systems. (2005).
                        development, urban           Waterways,       • Create a coherent tourism and regeneration plan
                        regeneration and tourism.                       for canal related activity within the Black Country
                                                                        and Birmingham. (2004).
                                                     Waterways        • National Waterways Festival to be held in Burton
                                                     Association.       upon Trent. (2004).

Action No. Section No. Priority Action               Lead Partner     Next Steps

33.         6.5         Develop, implement and       Regional         • Influence national, regional and local policies and
                        review the West Midlands     Housing Board,     strategies to ensure alignment with the RHS and
                        Regional Housing Strategy    Regional           achieve a co-ordinated approach to housing
                        (RHS).                       Housing            strategy development. (ongoing).
                                                     Partnership      • Identify ‘next steps’ and lead partners to take
                                                     and                forward and deliver on the priority actions in the
                                                                        first Regional Housing Strategy. (2004).
                                                     Boards and       • Identify regional priorities for investment and
                                                     other regional     influence resource allocations. (annual).
                                                     partners.        • Support the development of the Housing Market
                                                                        Renewal Area Pathfinders in Birmingham
                                                                        (Sandwell) and North Staffordshire and identify key
                                                                        partner actions and leads. (2005).
                                                                      • Develop distinctive approaches to address
                                                                        affordable rural housing through the market towns
                                                                        initiative and Rural Regeneration Zone. (2004).

Action No. Section No. Priority Action               Lead Partner     Next Steps

34.         6.6         Implement the Water          Environment      • Promote efficient use of water to ensure domestic,
                        Resources Strategy, as       Agency.            industrial and agricultural uses realise sustainable
                        identified in the document                      economic, social and environmental benefits
                        Water resources for the                         through implementing the strategy. (ongoing).
                        future: A strategy for the
                        West Midlands.

Action No. Section No. Priority Action               Lead Partner     Next Steps

35.         6.6         Promote environmentally      Regional Rural   • Increase awareness among the region’s farmers
                        beneficial farming in the    Affairs Forum      and develop multi-farm schemes to increase the
                        region.                      and                take-up of agri-environment schemes and other
                                                                        opportunities within the England Rural
                                                                        Development Plan (ERDP). (2004).
                                                     Partnership.     • Encourage farming practices which are
                                                                        biodiversity friendly and protect natural
                                                                        resources. (ongoing).

                                                                                           Regeneration   Business   Technology
                                                                                              Zones       Clusters    Corridors
64   |   Action Plan: Pillar 4

          PILLAR 4: Regenerating Communities
            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                     Lead Partner      Next Steps

           36.             All         Deliver the Regeneration        Six            • Agree and realise Zone Implementation Plans.
                           (see 9.2)   Zones Initiative.               Regeneration     (2006).
                                                                       Zone Boards    • Create and implement a co-ordinated programme
                                                                       and              of "bridges to success" in each Zone (covering
                                                                       Advantage West   training, business start-up support, transport,
                                                                       Midlands.        information, childcare provision, aspirations).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                     Lead Partner      Next Steps

           37.             All         Implement Market Towns          Market Towns      • Further develop and widen the role of the
                           (see 9.6)   Initiative across the region.   Task Group and      Regional Market Towns Forum to enable towns
                                                                       Partnerships.       to network and learn from experience. (2004).
                                                                                         • Develop and implement a package of
                                                                                           regeneration activity for each of the market towns
                                                                                           supported by the initiative. (2006)
                                                                                         • Identify at least one key regeneration site in each
                                                                                           of the 20 priority towns in the Market Towns
                                                                                           Initiative. (2004).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                     Lead Partner      Next Steps

           38.             All         Address the issues identified   Sub-regional    • Identify and agree specific intervention criteria.
                           (see 9.6)   in the Economic                 economic          (2004).
                                       Interventions in Towns study    partnerships,   • Sub-regional Economic Partnerships/Local
                                                                       Local Strategic   Strategic Partnerships to draw up Action Plans
                                                                       Partnerships      for towns/groups of towns. (2004).
                                                                       and             • Co-ordinate understanding and relevance of
                                                                       Advantage West    study results for regional funding programmes.
                                                                       Midlands.         (ongoing).
                                                                                       • Ensure that study results are understood and
                                                                                         reflected in regional strategies for housing,
                                                                                         transport, tourism and culture. (ongoing).
                                                                                       • Deliver the existing Coalfields programme in
                                                                                         conjunction with English Partnerships’ managers
                                                                                         and examine the potential of the programme for
                                                                                         community-based activity. (ongoing).

            Action No. Section No. Priority Action                     Lead Partner      Next Steps

           39.             7.2         Improve the provision of        Regional Social   • Establish effective social enterprise support
                           (see also   information and support to      Enterprise          networks to promote the sector. (2005).
                           Action 7)   generate increased interest     Network.          • Develop and run pilot social enterprise projects to
                                       in and formation of social                          test models of best practice across the region,
                                       enterprises.                                        focusing on activity within Regeneration Zones.
                                                                                                                  Action Plan: Pillar 4   |   65

Action No. Section No. Priority Action                    Lead Partner      Next Steps

40.         7.2         Develop the role of NHS and       Government        • Support Regional Health Partnership. (ongoing).
                        other large public sector         Office for the    • Cultural sector to develop and run a pilot scheme
                        bodies as key employers           West Midlands,      for workforce development, training and
                        and providers of training.        Three Strategic     recruitment. (2006).
                                                          Health            • Develop and run local procurement schemes.
                                                          Authorities         (2006).

Action No. Section No. Priority Action                    Lead Partner      Next Steps

41.         7.3         Promote the effective             Regional Action• Develop best practice and support networks for
            7.4         engagement of the region’s        West Midlands    community empowerment and strategies.
                        voluntary and community           (RAWM),          (ongoing).
                        sector in regeneration activity   EMBRACE        • Develop best practice and support to ensure
                        and decision making.              West Midlands,   effective engagement in partnerships by the black
                                                          Business In      and minority ethnic voluntary and community
                                                          Communities,     sector. (ongoing).
                                                          Government     • Launch a programme of activity within
                                                          Office for the   Regeneration Zones which promotes links
                                                          West Midlands    between local communities and businesses.
                                                                         • Explore the potential for the role of food based
                                                          Advantage West
                                                                           initiatives in urban and rural areas and put projects
                                                                           in place. (ongoing)
                                                                         • Launch a five-year programme to support the
                                                                           engagement of black and minority ethnic
                                                                           communities in regeneration activity within the
                                                                           region’s seven Neighbourhood Renewal areas.
                                                                         • Develop the role of the Regional Assembly Social
                                                                           Inclusion Partnership in creating a coherent cross-
                                                                           sector approach to economic inclusion issues.

                                                                                                Regeneration   Business   Technology
                                                                                                   Zones       Clusters    Corridors
66   |   Action Plan: Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region

          Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region
           Action No. Section No. Priority Action                       Lead Partner     Next Steps

           42.           8.2           Implement a marketing and        Advantage West • Launch the agreed new description of the West
                                       image programme – selling        Midlands         Midlands to key audiences within and beyond
                                       our strengths nationally and     and              the region. (2004).
                                       internationally.                                • Commence specific campaigns addressing each
                                                                        West Midlands
                                                                        Regional         audience against the backdrop provided by the
                                                                        Assembly.        new description. (2004).
                                                                                       • Publish the first progress report against the
                                                                                         objectives of the Regional Marketing Strategy.
                                                                                       • Support the development of products, venues
                                                                                         and events to exploit more fully the region’s
                                                                                         international cultural offer. (ongoing).
                                                                                       • Promote Birmingham International Airport as a
                                                                                         gateway to the region. (ongoing).
                                                                                       • Support the development of Birmingham as an
                                                                                         international city for business and visitors.
                                                                                       • Create a coherent approach to the use of
                                                                                         signage at international gateways to the region.

           Action No. Section No. Priority Action                       Lead Partner     Next Steps

           43.           8.3           Deliver the agreed               West Midlands    • Prepare ‘State of the Region’ reports.
                                       mechanisms to share              Regional           (2004 and annually).
                                       information and intelligence     Observatory.     • Benchmark the region against leading European
                                       between partners and                                and international regions. (ongoing).
                                                                                         • Investigate and report on the implications for
                                                                                           policy of the changing demographic profile of the
                                                                                           region. (2004).

           Action No. Section No. Priority Action                       Lead Partner     Next Steps

           44.           8.4           Develop priorities for working   Advantage West • Prepare cross-England case for input to
                                       with other regions on the key    Midlands,        government review of regional economic
                                       economic issues for this         Government       imbalances and Comprehensive Spending Review.
                                       region.                          Office for the   (2004).
                                                                        West Midlands  • Establish the Midlands Aerospace Alliance in
                                                                        and              partnership with the East Midlands. (2004).
                                                                        West Midlands  • Examine the potential economic implications for
                                                                        Regional         the West Midlands of the Milton Keynes – South
                                                                        Assembly         Midlands Growth Area proposal contained in the
                                                                                         Sustainable Communities Plan. (2004).
                                                                                       • Create proposal for regional benchmarking in
                                                                                         regional competitiveness across Europe. (2004).
                                                                    Action Plan: Providing a Powerful Voice for the Region    |   67

Action No. Section No. Priority Action            Lead Partner    Next Steps

45.         8.5         Implement the European    Regional        • Develop the interim strategy into an agreed
                        Strategic Framework and   Assembly’s        European Strategy following the visioning event in
                        Strategy.                 European and      December 2003. (2004).
                                                  International   • Create links with rural areas in Europe to
                                                  Affairs           exchange best practice in the development of
                                                  Partnership.      rural economic opportunities. (ongoing).
                                                                  • Develop opportunities for exchange programmes
                                                                    for young professionals and graduates from West
                                                                    Midlands companies and equivalent companies in
                                                                    European regions. (2005).
                                                                  • Put in place resources and capacity to access
                                                                    European funding post 2006 in line with regional
                                                                    priorities. (2005).
                                                                  • Develop and implement structured, proactive
                                                                    initiatives for influencing European regional policy
                                                                    – informed by research and information – with
                                                                    current priority given to Cohesion policy.
                                                                  • Maximise the opportunities for West Midlands
                                                                    companies from the enlarged European Single
                                                                    Market, through the International Trade Strategy.
                                                                  • Determine and implement priorities for new
                                                                    strategic links between the West Midlands and
                                                                    current EU Member States/Accession States to
                                                                    deliver the European Strategy. (2006).
                                                                  • Further develop regional partnerships, including
                                                                    the West Midlands in Europe partnership in
                                                                    Brussels and promote the region’s interests in
                                                                    Europe. (ongoing).
                                                                  • Launch new Brussels Office. (2004).

                                                                                       Regeneration   Business   Technology
                                                                                          Zones       Clusters    Corridors
68   |   Annex A

          ANNEX A
          Measuring Progress and Impact

          A1 Introduction

          This Annex provides:

          • Baseline data which will allow annual progress towards the Vision to be monitored; and

          • Data which will enable the impact of the three Key Delivery Mechanisms to be monitored.

          This data will be updated on an annual basis and will be incorporated into the annual progress report to be produced by
          Advantage West Midlands (as outlined in section 11.2).

          A2 Baseline data relating to the Vision

          The overarching measure of progress towards achieving the          analysed to show the movement in relation to the baseline
          Vision is to raise the trend growth rate of Gross Value Added      data. The Strategy’s target is that, by 2010, the region
          (GVA) per capita above the national average, by 2010. Thus,        should be above the UK average (where the baseline is
          the GVA will be monitored on an annual basis and progress          below the average) or should maintain the differential with
          analysed in the annual monitoring report.                          the UK average (where the region’s baseline is already above
                                                                             the national average). Where the annual trend is not in line
          Further monitoring of progress towards the Vision will be
                                                                             with the target, corrective action will be taken by the
          undertaken by analysing trends in indicators which reflect
                                                                             appropriate regional organisations.
          upon each of the key themes of the Strategy. The indicators
          are presented in Table A1 (opposite), which provides the           The first annual State of the Region report will be produced
          baseline data to show the West Midlands and UK position            by the West Midlands Regional Observatory in early 2004.
          at the end of 2003.                                                This will provide a more detailed baseline report for
                                                                             measuring achievements in the region. The opportunity will
          During the period covered by Delivering Advantage (2004 to
                                                                             be taken to review the baseline indicators in Table A1 once
          2010), data on these indicators will be collected and
                                                                             the State of the Region report is published.
                                                                                                                               Annex A    |      69

Table A1 – Indicators and 2003 baseline data for each theme of the Vision

                                                                                                                       Baseline data
                                                                                                                      WM       England/UK

           1   Levels of business innovation – % of companies reporting innovative activity from 1998 to 2000        52.0%        47.0%
           2   Investment levels – total project successes in 2002                                                    100           760
           3   Total exports – % of national value in 2002                                                            7.0%         100%

           4   Productivity – GVA per head in 2001                                                                   £13,000      £14,500
           5   Productivity – growth in 2000/2001                                                                     3.4%         4.0%
           6   Environmental management standards – number of businesses with ISO 14001 standard in 2003              355          2,917
           7   Business survival rates – % of companies founded in 1998 which survived for the three years to 2001   63.7%        64.0%

           8   % of under 19 qualified to NVQ 2 in 2003                                                              75.0%        76.0%
           9   % of workforce qualified to NVQ 4+ in 2003                                                            25.0%        29.0%
           10 % of workforce qualified to NVQ 3+ in 2003                                                             46.0%        50.0%
           11 % of workforce without qualifications in 2003                                                          12.0%        10.0%

           12 ILO unemployment rate in October 2003                                                                   6.0%         5.0%
           13 Long-term unemployment – % of claimants unemployed for more than 6 months in October 2003              34.6%        33.5%
           14 Self-employment levels – % of 16+ who are self-employed in 2003                                         5.8%         7.4%
           15 Wage/income levels – gross weekly pay in 2002                                                           £430         £470

           16 Educational performance – % of 15 year olds getting A* to C at GCSE in 2003                            50.0%        53.0%
           17 Work destination of graduates – % of students completing university in 2001 who are now either
                                                                                                                     85.0%        85.0%
              employed or in further study

           18 % of school leavers staying on to FE/structured training in 2002                                       83.6%        84.4%
           19 RAE ratings – % of departments achieving 5 or 5* rates in 2001                                         38.1%        38.5%
           20 Investment in training by employers – % of companies with IiP in June 2003                             2.18%         2.0%

           21 Visitor numbers by type, length of stay – gross number of trips (millions) in 2001                      120        Not available
           22 Visitor spend by visitor type – gross spend (£ millions) in 2001                                       £4,800      Not available

           23 Visitor perceptions and satisfaction rates – visit exceeded expectations in 2002
                                                                                                                       7         Not available
              (average score of satisfaction from 1 (poor) to 10 (high))
           24 Share of tourism expenditure by overseas visitors in the UK in 2001 – £ million and % of UK total       £368        £11,167

           25 Housing affordability, price/earnings index – average house price compared to average salary in 2003     7              8
           26 Accessibility to broadband – % of households and businesses with access to broadband in 2003           80.0%        80.0%
           27 Congestion/journey times – mean travel time to work (minutes) in 2002                                    23            25

           28 Congestion/journey times – % of average trunk road speed achieved at AM peak in 2002                   90.0%        92.0%
           29 Population change between 1991 and 2001                                                                 0.7%         2.4%
           30 Indices of deprivation – % of wards in bottom 10% of UK wards in 2000                                   8.7%       Not available
70   |   Annex A

          A3 Monitoring the impact of the Key Delivery Mechanisms
          In addition to monitoring the overall progress of the West                  Table A2 illustrates what outcomes – in terms of productivity
          Midlands towards its Vision, we need to measure the                         and employment levels – could be expected in 2010 if there
          contribution being made by the three Key Delivery Mechanisms                were no activities delivered through the Cluster Action Plan.
          towards this progress.                                                      The target is to demonstrate value added through the cluster
                                                                                      activities in showing improved productivity and employment
          In order to do this, it is necessary to identify those factors that
                                                                                      changes compared to those set out in Table A2. Thus, for
          the delivery mechanisms are expected to improve. These
                                                                                      example, in the Tourism and Leisure Cluster, a 6% increase in
          factors are:
                                                                                      productivity can be expected, coupled with a 9% increase in
          • For the Business Clusters – productivity and                              employment levels. The aim for the activity in that Cluster is,
            employment levels;                                                        therefore, to have an increase in productivity that is greater
          • For the Regeneration Zones (RZ) – unemployment and                        than 6% and an increase in employment greater than 9%.
            numbers of adults with no qualifications; and

          • For the High Technology Corridors – employment and GVA.

          It is possible to forecast the expected changes in each of
          these factors by 2010. These changes are shown, for each of
          the delivery mechanisms, in Tables A2, A3 and A4. In effect,
          the changes provide baseline figures as to what could be
          expected if none of the activities planned under the delivery
          mechanisms took place.

          Table A2 – Forecasted changes by 2010 in (a) productivity and (b) employment levels, without any Cluster Plan activities

           Business Cluster                                    Productivity increase by 2010             Change in employment levels by 2010

           Established Clusters
           Building Technologies                                                25%                                         6% fall
           Food and Drink                                                       18%                                         3% fall
           Tourism and Leisure                                                  6%                                       9% increase
           High value-added Consumer Products                                   10%                                         9% fall
           Transport Technologies                                               31%                                        23% fall

           Growing Clusters
           Specialist Business and
                                                                                27%                                     14% increase
           Professional Services
           Information Communication Technologies                               24%                                      5% increase
           Environmental Technologies                                           26%                                        16% fall

           Embryonic or Aspirational Clusters
           Screen and New Media for Education
                                                                                9%                                      12% increase
           and Entertainment
           Medical Technologies                                                 25%                                         9% fall

          Source: Experian Business Strategies, 2003
                                                                                                                              Annex A   |   71

Table A3 shows what outcomes – in terms of unemployment and number of adults with no qualifications – could be expected by
2010, if none of the Zone activities took place. The target is to show added value through the Zone activities by improvements
upon the data in Table A3. As an example, in the Rural Zone, the forecasts suggest a 6% increase in unemployment and a
negligible change in the number of adults with no qualifications. The Zone activity delivered under the Strategy should improve
upon these forecasts by 2010. Thus, for example, the North Staffs Zone can expect a fall in unemployment of greater than 3%
and to have reduced the number of adults with no qualifications.

Table A3 – Forecasted changes by 2010 in (a) unemployment and (b) numbers of adults with no
qualifications, without any Regeneration Zone activities

                                                                                         Change in numbers of adults with
 Regeneration Zone                             Change in unemployment by 2010
                                                                                            no qualifications by 2010

 North Staffordshire                                          3% fall                              Negligible change
 North Black Country                                          19% fall                                   4% fall
 South Black Country                                          11% fall                             Negligible change
 East Birmingham                                              13% fall                                   3% fall
 Coventry and Nuneaton                                        21% fall                                   5% fall
 Rural                                                     6% increase                             Negligible change

Source: Experian Business Strategies, 2003

For each of the High Technology Corridors, the target is to exceed the forecasted improvements for 2010 figures in employment
levels and GVA (as set out in Table A4). Thus, for example, the Central Technology Belt can expect to have an increase in
employment above 2% and for GVA to have increased by more than 22%.

Table A4 – Forecasted changes by 2010 in (a) employment levels and (b) GVA, without High Technology Corridor activities

 High Technology Corridor                    Change in employment levels by 2010               Change in GVA by 2010

 Central Technology Belt (A38)                             2% increase                               22% increase
 Wolverhampton to Telford                                     2% fall                                17% increase
 Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire                          4% increase                               23% increase

A4 Conclusion

As set out in section 11.2, Advantage West Midlands will produce an annual monitoring report on progress. This will include
progress against the Vision indicators and with the key delivery mechanisms. The first annual monitoring report will be produced
early in 2005.
72   |   Annex B

          ANNEX B
          Assessment of Progress on Sustainability

          B1 Introduction

          Advantage West Midlands has used Arups to undertake sustainability appraisals for the West Midlands Economic Strategy (WMES)
          as it has been developed. Arups have so far undertaken three appraisals: of the original Creating Advantage combined with
          Agenda for Action (2002); of the consultation draft of Delivering Advantage (summer 2003) and this Strategy (autumn 2003).
          These have been used to show where further development of thinking, policies and actions have been required by partners to
          ensure the commitment to sustainable development is turned into reality.

          The sections below summarise the progress made over the three appraisals, and highlight issues for further consideration.
          They show how Delivering Advantage fares against the Government’s four objectives for sustainable development. Arups’
          Sustainable Project Appraisal is based on a four-quadrant model – economic quadrant, environmental quadrant, social quadrant
          and natural resources quadrant – structuring the issues of sustainability into a robust framework, from which an appraisal of
          performance can be undertaken.

          B2 Overall Summary                                                  B3 Summary of Economic Quadrant

          This assessment shows that overall this Strategy performs           The economic quadrant performs well against a range of
          well against the range of indicators used for appraisal of          indicators grouped under five headings. There is clear
          performance. It highlights substantial progress made from the       indication of progress from the initial document (Creating
          original Strategy Creating Advantage published in 1999,             Advantage) through both drafts of Delivering Advantage.
          through to the subsequent drafts published up to the                Performance has improved on Finance Viability, Globalisation
          consultation draft in 2003. It identifies Delivering Advantage      (Competition Effects) and Business Support, Investment in
          as being built on that progress, making this Strategy stronger      Skills and Quality of Employment (Employment/Skills).
          on sustainability. While the economic, social and                   Significant factors in accounting for this have been the
          environmental quadrants show outstanding progress, there            introduction of the Regional Finance Framework and the
          remains room for improvement, particularly within the natural       Regional Local Business Exchange, together with more
          resources quadrant. These weak areas have been                      detail on Cluster Action Plans, FRESA and the Regional
          recognised as the focus for future policy development as part       e-Learning Strategy. In addition, the three documents have
          of this Strategy’s commitment to sustainable development.           been consistently strong on variables such as Improving
                                                                              Societal and Environmental Performance, R & D/Gross Fixed
                                                                              Capital Formation (Viability), Local Monopoly and
                                                                              Pricing/Diversity and Choice (Competition Effects), Job
                                                                              Numbers (Employment/Skills) and Pecuniary Externalities
                                                                              (Social Benefits/Costs). Weak areas remaining are Transport
                                                                              (particularly public/rural transport), a general lack of
                                                                              conceptualisation (consideration of such things as the circular
                                                                              flow of income, regional multiplier effects and income
                                                                              leakages) which could be used to bolster policies considered
                                                                              under variables such as Outsourcing/Displacement (Viability)
                                                                              together with measures designed to evaluate impacts of such
                                                                              items as public expenditure. Monitoring and policy evaluation
                                                                              imply significant improvements to the regional database
                                                                              dependent on the work of the Regional Observatory.
                                                                                                                                 Annex B   |   73

B4 Summary of Environmental Quadrant                             The Regional Housing Strategy is now available, is linked
                                                                 to the latest WMES and improves the position in terms of
There is significant improvement over the three documents
                                                                 choice of housing, affordability and linked with employment
(Creating Advantage through to the second draft of
                                                                 types. The need to access, and the current lack of,
Delivering Advantage), though inevitably some weaknesses
                                                                 sustainable transport has also been raised in profile,
remain. While this quadrant is not as strong overall as the
                                                                 improving the performance of the latest version of the
economic quadrant, there is improvement in Baseline
                                                                 WMES. On the down side, access to education for school-
Environment/CO2 and Other Greenhouse Gases (Air Quality),
                                                                 age children remains poorly addressed. Health and welfare
Context and Quality Design (Land Use), Water Management
                                                                 has improved since the initial assessment of the WMES,
and Water Quality (Water), Habitat Conservation and
                                                                 primarily due to addressing issues of crime and safety and
Biodiversity (Ecology and Cultural Heritage), Appropriate
                                                                 linking in with police initiatives. The latest version of the
Technology, Environmental Technology and Sustainable
                                                                 WMES has identified health as a priority that was previously
Buildings/Construction (Design and Operation) and Green
                                                                 omitted. The document itself has been subject to a health
Transportation (Transport). Significant factors accounting for
                                                                 check, which has improved overall performance.
this have been the Regional Air Quality Strategy currently
under production, increased emphasis on climate change,
the setting up of the Regional Centre for Regeneration           B6 Summary of Natural Resources Quadrant
Excellence, better links with draft RPG, the production of a     This quadrant was extremely weak in the appraisal of
Regional Water Strategy, increased emphasis on biodiversity      Creating Advantage but has continually improved in the
and greater emphasis on sustainable development technology       subsequent drafts of the WMES. The WMES previously
(e.g. mention of the Beacon Manufacturing Group). Treatment      omitted any reference to the use of water but now contains
of other variables remains unchanged overall with the            an action relating to the Regional Water Strategy (to be
exception of there being less emphasis on both Public            implemented by the Environment Agency) that has made a
Transport Infrastructure and Freight Traffic in the later        significant improvement. The need to reduce the use of
documents. Treatment of Environmental Management                 natural resources has improved through the activities of the
Systems and Strategic Environmental Assessment/                  Environmental Cluster and the Industrial Symbiosis project.
Ecological Footprint (Design and Operation) remains weak.        However, these are very specific one-off projects and a
The developing role of the Regional Observatory will be          region-wide acknowledgement and endorsement of waste
significant in this area.                                        minimisation is missing from the WMES. The overall
                                                                 performance, as far as waste is concerned remains
B5 Summary of Social Quadrant                                    negative. During the review process little has been included
                                                                 on the importance of managing and monitoring energy in
In terms of societal sustainability, the WMES documents
                                                                 the region. The latest version of the WMES refers to the
have performed consistently well with slightly above
                                                                 region’s impending response to the Energy White Paper,
average assessment. The WMES documents have
                                                                 which is a step in the right direction. The WMES
remained constant in terms of Inclusion (Community
                                                                 documents have improved slightly in highlighting the
Participation, Decision Making and Partnership Working)
                                                                 importance of the natural environment to the economy but
but, on the down side, issues of Global Supply Chain and
                                                                 could perform better if there were an explicit reference to
Corporate Social Responsibility remain very weak and pull
                                                                 the need for the protection of these assets for future
the overall performance down. Issues relating to Social
                                                                 generations. There has been very positive support of the
Cohesion and Vibrancy could be stronger. With regards to
                                                                 reuse of brownfield sites, an area that has performed
Amenity within the West Midlands, little regard has been
                                                                 consistently well from Creating to Delivering Advantage.
given throughout the documentation. There has been a
                                                                 With regards to waste hierarchy, the WMES has improved
slight improvement, with some recognition of the value
                                                                 slightly but is still poor. The formalisation and adoption of
of landscape and the natural environment in the latest
                                                                 the Regional Waste Strategy would greatly improve this
document. Some of the actions relating to tourism have
                                                                 aspect of sustainability.
also helped to improve the overall performance.

Source: Ove Arup Ltd
74   |   Annex C

          ANNEX C
          European and National Policy and Strategy Developments
          Impacting on ‘Delivering Advantage’


          Delivering Advantage has not been developed in isolation but in the context of European and national policies and strategies
          that impact on economic development in the region. Set out below are the key policies and strategies that have influenced the
          Strategy, as well as those in development that will impact on the Strategy and Actions.

          C1 European

          At a European level, a number of strategies and emerging            will impact on all policies and on how the EU itself operates.
          high-level debates impact directly on the West Midlands,            As a result, several policies are being reviewed:
          both in terms of policy and funding. EU enlargement in 2004

            Title                                                              Brief description

            Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform – a long-                  The EU is changing the way support is given to the farming
            term perspective for sustainable agriculture                       sector. In particular there will be more emphasis on rural
            [More information available at:              development. The overall aim is to ensure that the CAP
            comm/agriculture/capreform/index_en.htm                            responds to the needs and expectations of the public by
            and                                                                assuring food quality, environmental responsibility and
  ]                            protection of the countryside.

            Structural Funds                                                   European Structural Fund eligibility will change
            [More information available at:                                    fundamentally after 2006. This is being looked at as part of
  ]                            the Economic and Social Cohesion Policy review.

            State Aid                                                          State Aid Regulations prevent member states giving
            [More information available at:                                    assistance to businesses that can distort fair competition.

          Existing strategies that are of direct relevance to the Strategy:

           Title                                                               Brief description

           Lisbon Strategy                                                     The Lisbon Strategy is a commitment to bring about
           [More information available at:                                     economic, social and environmental renewal in the EU. In
              March 2000, the European Council in Lisbon set out a
           and                                                                 ten-year strategy to make the EU the world's most
 ]                             dynamic and competitive economy. Under the strategy, a
                                                                               stronger economy will drive job creation alongside social
                                                                               and environmental policies that ensure sustainable
                                                                               development and social inclusion.

           European Employment Strategy                                        This Strategy aligns to the Lisbon Strategy in seeking to
           [More information available at:          promote sustained economic growth leading to more
           employment_social/employment_strategy/index_en.htm]                 and better jobs and greater social cohesion by 2010.

           Sixth Framework Programme for Research and                          The programme supports research, technological
           Development (2002–2006)                                             development and demonstration projects that contribute
           [More information available at:                                     to the development of the European Research Area.
                                                                                                                  Annex C   |   75

C2 National

At a national level key, policies and strategies include:

 Title                                                      Brief description

 Our towns and cities: the future - delivering              This is the Urban White Paper published by the Office of
 on Urban Renaissance                                       the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) that sets out a
 [More information available at:]           framework to co-ordinate action to revitalise urban areas.

 Our countryside – the future – a fair deal                 This is the Rural White Paper published by the
 for rural England                                          Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
 [More information available at:]          (Defra) that sets out the policies for developing the
                                                            interdependencies between urban and rural communities
                                                            and improving the lives of people in the countryside as
                                                            well as in towns and cities.

 Your region your choice: revitalising the                  This is the Regional White Paper published by ODPM. It
 English regions                                            sets out the Government's plans to decentralise powers
 [More information available at:]           and strengthen regional policy, and takes forward the
                                                            commitment for directly elected assemblies to go ahead
                                                            in regions where people want them.

 The Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food:             The Farming and Food Strategy is produced by Defra. It
 Facing the Future                                          sets out how industry, The Government and consumers
 [More information available at:                            can work together to secure a sustainable future for our]                            farming and food industries, as viable industries
                                                            contributing to a better environment and healthy and
                                                            prosperous communities.

 21st Century Skills: Realising Your Potential              This is the Skills White Paper produced by the
 [More information available at:]           Department for Education and Skills. The Strategy aims
                                                            to ensure that employers have the skills to support the
                                                            success of their business, and that employees have the
                                                            necessary skills to be both employable and personally
                                                            fulfilled. The approach is to build a new skills alliance
                                                            where every employer, employee and citizen plays their

 Sustainable Communities: Building for the                  A programme of action, produced by ODPM, to tackle
 Future Action Programme                                    problems in communities in England. It has a particular
 [More information available at:]           focus on housing and sustainable land use.

 Our energy future - creating a low carbon economy          This is the Energy White Paper produced by the
 [More information available at:                            Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It defines a]              long-term strategic vision for energy policy, combining
                                                            environmental, security of supply, competitiveness and
                                                            social goals.

 Innovation Review: Action for the Future                   The DTI’s new strategy for increasing innovation
 [More information available at:]     in the UK.
76   |   Annex D

          ANNEX D
          Linked Strategies and Associated Documents

          Table D1 lists other regional strategies mentioned in this document along with associated documents linked to the Strategy
          together with lead organisations responsible for management and delivery. The associated documents are divided into two
          categories, strategies and statements, and in their entirety show how delivery will be achieved through the West Midlands
          Economic Strategy. The documents are currently at different stages of development; some completed, some to be published
          alongside this Strategy, and others currently under review. Individually these sub-strategies will ensure delivery of the various
          sections of the West Midlands Economic Strategy.

          Table D1. Linked Strategies and Associated Documents

            Regional Strategies                                                                        Lead Partner/Owner:

            Regional Planning Guidance (RPG)/the Regional Spatial Strategy incorporating               West Midlands Regional Assembly
            the Regional Transport Strategy

            Regional Cultural Strategy (Cultural Life in the West Midlands)                            West Midlands Life

            The West Midlands Regional Delivery Plan – the response to the                             Regional Rural Affairs Forum
            Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food

            The Regional Housing Strategy                                                              Regional Housing Board

            The Regional Sustainable Development Framework*                                            Sustainability West Midlands

            Associated Strategies

            Framework for Regional Employment and Skills Action (FRESA)                                FRESA Executive Group

            Enterprise Framework                                                                       Regional Enterprise Board

            Regional Marketing Strategy                                                                Marketing the Region Team

            Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS)                                                         Regional Innovation Group

            Information and Communications Technology Strategy (ICT)                                   ICT Steering Group

            Regional Social Enterprise Framework                                                       Regional Social Enterprise Network

            International Trade Strategy                                                               International Trade Steering Group

            West Midlands Visitor Economy Strategy                                                     West Midlands Strategic Tourism Body

            Regional Access to Finance Framework                                                       Regional Finance Forum

            The West Midlands Language Strategy                                                        Advantage West Midlands

            Associated Statements

            European Strategic Framework                                                               Regional Assembly

            Manufacturing Statement                                                                    The Beacon Manufacturing Group

            Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement                                                Regional Assembly Social
                                                                                                       Inclusion Partnership

            Rural Renaissance Statement*                                                               Regional Rural Affairs Forum
           * In development
                                                                                                                            Annex D    |   77

Table D2 illustrates which Strategy sections various                While it is apparent from the top rows that not all the
documents are related to. Some documents have a direct              documents impact directly on all sections of the Strategy,
influence on certain parts of the Strategy and an indirect          it is clear from the bottom five rows that all statements
influence on others. This is indicated by colour shading and        have a direct impact on all sections of the Strategy. This
keys at the bottom of the table.                                    is because they represent cross-cutting themes that run
                                                                    throughout the Strategy.
Table D2. Relationship to the Pillars and a Powerful Voice

                                                               Pillars and Powerful Voice

Associated              Pillar One:
                                             Pillar Two:           Pillar Three:         Pillar Four:        Providing a
Documents               Developing a
                                             Promoting a           Creating the          Regenerating        Powerful Voice
(Strategies &           Diverse and
                                             Learning and          Conditions for        Communities         for the Region
Statements)             Dynamic
                                             Skilful Region        Growth
                        Business Base


Framework for
Employment and
Skills Action (FRESA)


Regional Marketing

Regional Innovation
Strategy (RIS)
Information and
Technology (ICT)
Regional Social
International Trade

West Midlands Visitor
Economy Strategy
Regional Access to
Finance Framework
The West Midlands
Language Strategy


European Strategic

Equality, Diversity
and Inclusion
Rural Renaissance

                                                                                Direct link to Pillar        Indirect link to Pillar
78   |   Annex E

          ANNEX E
          National and Regional Priorities for Transport Investment

          This table is a summary of the national and regional priorities for transport investment over a 15 year period that is included
          in the Secretary of State’s proposed changes to draft Regional Planning Guidance.

                                                                                                      Implementation Period
            Scheme                                        Key Delivery Role
                                                                                        2001–2005 2006–2010 2011–2015 Post-2015

            A programme of measures to achieve            Local Authority Operators
            behavioural change, including travel
            awareness, walking/cycling networks,
            quality public transport, access to
            regeneration sites

            West Coast Mainline                           Strategic Rail Authority

            Upgrading freight routes to Felixstowe        Strategic Rail
            and Southampton                               Authority

            M6 Toll                                       Midland Environment Ltd
            M6 Widening J11a-J19                          Highways Agency
            M6 East of M6 Toll (J4-M1)                    Highways Agency
            M40 J15 Longbridge Improvement                Highways Agency
            M42 Active Traffic Management Pilot           Highways Agency
            M42 Widening J3a-7                            Highways Agency
            M54 – M6/M6 Toll Link                         Highways Agency
            Active Traffic Management for                 Highways Agency
            motorway box
            A5 Weeford-Fazeley Improvement                Highways Agency
            A38 Streethay - A50 Improvements              Highways Agency
            A45/A46 Tollbar End Improvement               Highways Agency
            A483 Pant & Llanymynech Bypass                Highways Agency
            A500 City Road & Stoke Road                   Highways Agency
            Various route management Studies,             Highways Agency
            including the A46
                                                                                                                      Annex E   |   79

                                                                                       Implementation Period
 Scheme                                       Key Delivery Role
                                                                           2001-2005 2006-2010 2011-2015         Post 2015

 West Midlands Rail Capacity                  Strategic Rail Authority
 Phase One
 West Midlands Rail Study                     Strategic Rail Authority
 - longer term needs

 Local congestion charging studies            Local Authority Operators

 Birmingham International Airport,            Birmingham International
 development of services and improved         Airport
 surface access, especially by public

Source: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, The Secretary of State’s proposed changes to Regional Planning Guidance for the
West Midlands, September 2003
80   |   Annex F

          ANNEX F
          Three Key Delivery Mechanisms

         F1 Regeneration Zones

         The table below shows the population and areas covered by the six Regeneration Zones.
         These encompass areas of deprivation and areas of major economic opportunity.

            Regeneration Zone                         Population                  Area Covered
                                                      (2001, thousands)

            Rural                                     348                         The most remote rural parts of the region,
                                                                                  including parts of Herefordshire, Shropshire and
                                                                                  Worcestershire and covering most of the rural
                                                                                  parts of Objective 2 areas. It adjoins mid-Wales,
                                                                                  much of which is an Objective 1 area and with
                                                                                  which there are important links.
            East Birmingham and                       404                         Most of East Birmingham, extending eastwards
            North Solihull                                                        from the City Centre, plus small parts of North
            North Black Country and South             291                         Parts of Wolverhampton and Walsall and a small
            Staffordshire (Future Foundations)                                    area of South Staffordshire.
            North Staffordshire                       245                         The Potteries areas, plus parts of Stoke-on-Trent
                                                                                  and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
            Coventry and Nuneaton                     207                         Parts of Coventry, Nuneaton and Bedworth.
            South Black Country and                   477                         West of Birmingham City Centre into parts of
            West Birmingham (Arc of Opportunity)                                  Dudley and Sandwell.

            Total                                     1,972

                                                                                                  ①   North Staffordshire
                                                                                                      Regeneration Zone
                                                                                                  ②   North Black Country and South Staffordshire
           Figure F1. – Locations of Regeneration Zones                                               Regeneration Zone
                                                                                                  ③   South Black Country and West Birmingham
                                                                                                      Regeneration Zone
                                                                                                  ④   East Birmingham and North Solihull
                                                                                                      Regeneration Zone
                                                                                                  ⑤   Coventry and Nuneaton
                                                                                                      Regeneration Zone
                                                                                                  ⑥   Rural Regeneration Zone

                                                                              ③      ④
                                                                                                                             Annex F   |   81

F2 Business Clusters

The table below defines the ten Business Clusters and               Growing Clusters have substantial employment and the
current employment levels. It also shows the rationale for          potential for further growth. The employment base of
selection of the ten Business Clusters. The three categories        embryonic Clusters is currently small, but they have been
– established, growing and embryonic – emerge from this             chosen because of the strong potential they have for growth.
analysis. Established clusters have an existing strong
employment base and opportunities for modernisation.

 Cluster                     Definition and Scale (Core                      Why Chosen?
                             Employment, 2002)


 Transport Technologies      Commodity metal and polymer component           High concentrations of activity centred on volume
                             manufacture, metal processes/treatments,        manufacture of motor vehicles. Opportunities for
                             electrical/electronic/mechanical sub            focusing on higher value-added goods based on
                             systems manufacture, vehicle                    new technologies and in luxury cars, motor sports
                             manufacture. (134,000 employees)                and materials to improve products and product
                                                                             design. Technology transfer opportunities between
                                                                             different transport modes and also in use of new
                                                                             materials to lessen environmental impact.

 Building Technologies       Commodity materials (cement, timber, etc),      Significant concentrations of activity especially in
                             commodity manufactured products (tiles,         north of the region associated with commodity
                             bricks, sanitary ceramics), sub-assemblies      materials and low value-added metal goods and
                             (fire alarms and other safety, mechanical       ceramics. Need for modernisation. Shift from low
                             lifting and handling equipment, electronic      value-added commodities to higher value-added
                             sensors), equipment/tooling manufacture/        systems, with scope to build on developments in
                             hire, design/professional services,             materials such as polymers and recycling.
                             construction services. (198,000 employees)      Significant force for change in relation to urban
                                                                             regeneration and the transformation of the image
                                                                             of this region.

 Food and Drink              Agricultural commodities supply, primary        Employment growth recorded in cluster. Consumer
                             produce processing, secondary                   tastes and concerns over food safety are key
                             processing, wholesaling, distribution,          drivers. Both create opportunities for value added
                             food-processing machinery.                      through, for example, innovations in prepared
                             (57,000 employees)                              ethnic foods and organics. Significant force for
                                                                             change in rural areas through a strengthening of
                                                                             supply linkages.

 Tourism and Leisure         Attractions, accommodation, catering,           Significant employment growth potential - although
                             public realm management, information            highly concentrated in certain parts of the region
                             services, intermediary services, catering,      around specific types of product. Potential for
                             supplies, leisure goods, presentational         expansion of heritage-related, business and
                             arts. (181,000 employees)                       sports-related tourism.

 High value-added            Tableware ceramics, jewellery, crystal          Longstanding concentrations of traditional
 Consumer Products           glass, leather goods, clothing, carpets.        consumer product industries in older urban core.
                             (48,400 employees)                              Also craft-based production an important
                                                                             component in some rural economies. Key
                                                                             influence played by design and marketing in the
                                                                             development of a future for these industries
                                                                             around improved value-added opportunities.
                                                                             Process efficiency improvements important in
                                                                             sustaining volume manufacturers.
82   |   Annex F

            Cluster                   Definition and Scale (Core                        Why Chosen?
                                      Employment, 2002)


            Specialist Business and   Legal, accountancy, market research,              Significant forecast employment growth centred
            Professional Services     management consultancy, general                   on Birmingham City Centre. Need for an adequate
                                      business services, advertising, general           supply of skilled workers. Focus on specialist
                                      research. (82,000 employees)                      activity such as intellectual property rights and

            Information and           Hardware manufacture, hardware                    Significant national growth and historic regional
            Communication             consultancy, software, database                   growth. Significant presence in software especially
            Technologies              management, associated                            in southern part of region around Coventry, Solihull,
                                      components, associated wholesale,                 Warwick. Recent successes in hardware but from
                                      telecommunications. (72,000 employees)            a low base. Significant mobile investment
                                                                                        opportunities. Incubation opportunities associated
                                                                                        with region's universities around photonics,

            Environmental             Environmental products, environmental             Significant economic growth potential worldwide
            Technologies              services (utilities), specialist consultancies,   led by global concerns over climate change,
                                      energy production technologies. (42,000           diminishing resources and waste management.
                                      employees)                                        Diversification opportunity related to skills
                                                                                        available within region and technology transfer
                                                                                        from existing sectors. Identified by recent DTI
                                                                                        work as a regional cluster.


            Screen and New Media      Recorded media manufacture, media                 Nucleus of highly successful, internationally
            for Education and         production, distribution, content                 competitive production companies, including firms
            Entertainment             developers, specialist business services,         focusing on the under-5s market. Strong skills
                                      content creators (education community/            base from traditional broadcasting industry.
                                      museums, etc). (11,000 employees)

            Medical Technologies      Polymer/metal components, electronics/            High rate of growth but from a low base. Full role
                                      electromechanical sub-assemblies,                 played by the medical market place on regional
                                      medical instrumentation, pharmaceutical           industry is understated, given the role played by
                                      production, wholesaling. (7,000 employees)        industries supplying multiple markets, e.g.
                                                                                        polymers. Higher education based investments
                                                                                        demonstrate a potential for spin-off activity.
                                                                                        Opportunities for diversification. Major training
                                                                                        region in medical schools and the University of
                                                                                        Central England (UCE) for the NHS.
                                                                                                                                Annex F   |   83

F3 High Technology Corridors

In September 2000, consultants were commissioned to                      • The Wolverhampton to Telford Corridor; and
work with three ‘Corridor Partnerships’ to examine the
                                                                         • The Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire Corridor.
feasibility of corridors by considering both their assets and
their potential to support new cluster development activity.             Development and activity will be focused on the identified
The corridors are:                                                       places as shown.

• The Birmingham to Worcestershire Corridor
  (Central Technology Belt);

Figure F2. - The Three High Technology Corridors

                                                     Wolverhampton to
                                                     Telford Corridor

                                                                    Central Technology Belt
                                                                                                    Coventry, Solihull,
                                                                                                    Warwickshire Corridor
84   |   Annex G

          ANNEX G
          Sub-regional Economic Partnerships and Strategies

          The table below identifies the various formal partnerships, and their key strategies, operating below the regional level. The role
          and remit of the partnerships varies; many cover a wider range of issues than just economic regeneration, but all bring
          together partners in their areas to co-ordinate economic development action.

           Partnership             Key Strategy               Strategy Basis                                    Further Information

           Birmingham              Birmingham and             A framework to assist policy development          Birmingham Economic
           Economic                Solihull Economic          and service delivery based on three themes:       Information Centre
           Development             Review 2002 –              developing a stronger economic base;              Tel: 0121 303 3719
           Partnership and         A Basis for Decision       developing human resources and skills;and
           Solihull Business       Making                     addressing community regeneration and
           Partnership                                        social inclusion.

           Black Country           Looking Forward:           Long-term vision statement and linked             Sarah Middleton
           Consortium              The Black Country in       shorter-term economic development                 Black Country Consortium
                                   2033                       strategic framework (in development).             Tel: 0121 569 2366
                                   The Black Country                                                  

           Coventry, Solihull      An Engine of Growth:       Economic development strategy, aligned to         Sally Rawlings
           and Warwickshire        The Economic               the West Midlands Economic Strategy,              CSW Partnership Ltd
           Partnership Ltd         Regeneration Strategy      focused on six strategic priorities: fulfilling   Tel: 024 7670 7418
                                   for Coventry, Solihull     sub-regional role, transport, manufacturing,
                                   and Warwickshire           promotion of growth sectors, tackling
                                   Sub-region                 disparities and education and training.

           Herefordshire           Herefordshire Plan         A framework for actions on ten ambitions:         Herefordshire Partnership
           Partnership                                        economic development, education and               Tel: 01432 261792
                                                              training, transport, housing, environment
                                                              enhancement, cultural and leisure
                                                              developments, community development,
                                                              poverty reduction, crime reduction, health.

           North                   Forward, Together:         A strategic framework for economic                Peter Johnson
           Staffordshire           North Staffordshire        development based on five ambitions:              North Staffordshire
           Partnership                                        securing foundations, celebrating success,        Partnership
                                                              thinking outward thinking forward, changing       Tel: 01782 746200
                                                              gear, driven by excellence.

           Shropshire              Integrated Community       Draws together the community strategies           Oliver Goode
           Partnership             Strategy                   produced by the county and five                   Shropshire Partnership
                                                              districts/boroughs based on four pillars:         Support Team
                                                              supporting inclusive communities, improving       Tel: 01743 252522
                                                              the environment, promoting lifelong learning,
                                                              stimulating a thriving economy.
                                                                                                                          Annex G   |   85

Partnership        Key Strategy              Strategy Basis                                   Further Information

Southern           Southern Staffordshire    An economic regeneration strategy for the        Mike Kinghan,
Staffordshire      Now!                      sub-region covering the districts of Cannock     Partnership Director
Partnership                                  Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, South      Southern Staffordshire
                                             Staffordshire, Stafford and Tamworth. The        Partnership
                                             strategy is organised under four themes          Tel: 01543 308250
                                             mirroring the four Pillars of the West 
                                             Midlands Economic Strategy.

Telford and        Telford & Wrekin in the   A framework for action based on six              John Pay
Wrekin Strategic   21st Century: a           key ambitions: economic development,             Telford and Wrekin
Partnership        Community Strategy        learning and skills, health and housing,         Partnership
                   for Telford & Wrekin      community safety, sustainable environment,       Development Unit
                                             social inclusion.                                Tel: 01952 205113

Worcestershire     Partnership Towards       The countywide community strategy that           Margaret Reilly
Partnership        Excellence –              sets out the vision for Worcestershire over      Worcestershire
                   A Community Strategy      the next ten years. The strategy is based        County Council
                   for Worcestershire        around six key themes: communities that are      Tel: 01905 766150
                   2003–2013                 healthy and support vulnerable people; 
                                             communities that are safe and feel safe;
                                             learning and skills for everyone at every age;
                                             economic success that is shared by all; a
                                             better environment – for today and for our
                                             children; connecting Worcestershire.
86   |   Annex H

          ANNEX H
          West Midlands Regional Concordat Partners

          The following provides a concise summary of the broader roles and responsibilities of partners to the Regional Concordat.

          H1 West Midlands Regional Assembly                                H3 Government Office West Midlands (GOWM)

          The Assembly is the Regional Planning Body for the West           The regional ‘arm’ of central government. The mission of
          Midlands responsible for strategic coherence in regional          Government Office West Midlands is ‘to work with regional
          working. The Assembly promotes the interests of the West          partners and local people to maximise competitiveness and
          Midlands by speaking out on important issues and events           prosperity in the regions, and to support integrated policies for
          affecting the region and speaking up for the social,              an inclusive society’. GOWM manages programmes on behalf
          environmental, cultural and economic interests of the region.     of parent Departments, supports and facilitates effective
          The Assembly has a membership of 100 made up of                   linkages between partners and programmes and informs
          representatives from the region’s local authorities, business     the development of Departments’ policies from a regional
          community and other interest groups including health, trade       perspective. GOWM is also responsible for co-ordinating the
          unions, environment, community and voluntary organizations.       work of other government agencies and non-departmental
                                                                            public bodies in the region.
          H2 Advantage West Midlands
                                                                            H4 West Midlands Local Government Association
          The Regional Development Agency for the West Midlands is
          charged with economic and physical regeneration, the
          promotion of employment, business efficiency, investment          The association represents all 38 local authorities in the
          and competitiveness, the development and application of           region, with a commitment to represent and promote the
          skills and contributing towards sustainable development.          interests of the population of the West Midlands and the local
          Advantage West Midlands is responsible for drawing up the         authorities serving it at regional level. WMLGA also acts as
          region’s economic strategy and the Agenda for Action              the regional link to the national Local Government
          providing the basis for the delivery of a wide range of           Association and through this, promotes a regional
          initiatives and programmes by Advantage West Midlands             perspective on national issues affecting local government.
          and its partners. Advantage West Midlands is formally             WMLGA is formally accountable to its constituent authorities.
          accountable to central government but is also subject to
          strategic review within the region by the Assembly.

          Website:                                    H5 Regional Action West Midlands (RAWM)

                                                                            RAWM, established in June 2000, is a strategic network for the
                                                                            voluntary and community sector in the West Midlands. It builds
                                                                            and supports the sector’s contribution to and influencing of
                                                                            regional and sub-regional policy and strategy. RAWM is
                                                                            formally accountable to its members and to the wider
                                                                            community and voluntary sector. It also acts as secretariat for
                                                                            the West Midlands Regional Assembly’s other stakeholder
                                                                            members, supporting engagement in regional governance.

                                                                                                                              Annex H   |   87

H6 West Midlands Business Council (WMBC)                           H9 West Midlands Learning and Skills Councils

WMBC is an inclusive business organisation reflecting the          The Learning and Skills Council is responsible for funding
business sector point of view on issues contributing to the        and planning education and training for over 16-year-olds in
performance of the West Midlands economy. Its objectives           England. Its mission is to raise participation and attainment
are to actively lobby policy makers and deliverers at national,    through high-quality education and training which puts
regional and local authority level and to participate              learners first. Its aim is that, by 2010, young people and
authoritatively in key regional partnerships through its           adults in England will have knowledge and productive skills
members, member organisations and officers. WMBC also              matching the best in the world. The six local Learning and
acts as the nominating body for Regional Assembly                  Skills Councils in the West Midlands operate within a
'business members' and supports these Assembly members             memorandum of understanding with Advantage West
in their role. WMBC is formally accountable to its members.        Midlands to co-ordinate their learning and skills activities in
                                                                   support of the West Midlands Regional Economic Strategy.
H7 West Midlands Life (the Regional Cultural                       Website:

One of eight Regional Cultural Consortiums set up by the           H10 Sustainability West Midlands (SWM)
Department for Culture, Media and Sport across England,
                                                                   SWM communicates, promotes and champions the
West Midlands Life provides a single voice to promote and
                                                                   principles of sustainable development and good corporate
speak for all cultural sectors in the region. West Midlands Life
                                                                   governance across the region. SWM is an independent
advises and informs central government, National Lottery
                                                                   partnership between 25 members of business, community,
distributors, local government and regional bodies such as
                                                                   voluntary, non-governmental and public sector organisations
Advantage West Midlands. West Midlands Life also promotes
                                                                   which represent economic, environmental and social
the role of culture throughout the region, including the arts,
                                                                   interests. It is regional and strategic in its outlook, whether
sport, museums, heritage, architecture, libraries, creative
                                                                   responding to international, national, regional or local
industries and tourism. A new board comprising a number of
                                                                   sustainability concerns. SWM works with all Concordat
prominent individual members with a strong background in
                                                                   partners to advance individual and collective commitments
the cultural sectors was appointed in 2003. As a non-
                                                                   to sustainable development principles and actions in all
departmental public body, West Midlands Life is formally
                                                                   policies, programmes and projects for the region.
accountable to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
through the Government Office for the West Midlands.               Website:

                                                                   H11 EMBRACE West Midlands (Ethnic Minority and
                                                                   Black Regional Action for Community Empowerment)
H8 West Midlands Higher Education Association
(WMHEA)                                                            A regional partnership of Black and Minority Ethnic led
                                                                   voluntary and community networks throughout the West
An association of the 13 universities and colleges of higher
                                                                   Midlands seeking to promote equality of opportunity for the
education in the region established to represent the higher
                                                                   Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary and community sector.
education sector promote the services of the sector to the
                                                                   EMBRACE’s purpose is to build capacity within the sector in
wider community and respond to the needs of business and
                                                                   order to contribute to and influence regional and sub-
industry for innovation and provision of higher level skills in
                                                                   regional policy and strategy. EMBRACE supports the active
the global knowledge economy. WMHEA is formally
                                                                   participation and engagement of community representatives
accountable to its 13 members.
                                                                   in policy making so that needs and aspirations within the
Website:                                           sector are better realised. EMBRACE is formally accountable
                                                                   to its members and also to the wider Black and Minority
                                                                   Ethnic led voluntary and community sector.

88   |   Annex I

          ANNEX I
          Glossary of Terms

            Acronym/term   Definition                        Description

            CABE           Commission for Architecture and   CABE is the champion for architecture in England, aiming to
                           the Built Environment             ensure that new and adapted buildings act as beacons in
                                                             the community, both for good architecture and for the
                                                             services they provide.

            CAP            Common Agricultural Policy        CAP regulates the production, trade and processing of
                                                             agricultural products in the EU. Attention is increasingly
                                                             focused on rural development.

            COG            Cluster Opportunity Group         COGs provide a structure for cluster decision making, a
                                                             mechanism to engage industry and opportunities to create
                                                             or strengthen cluster relations between sectors.

            Connexions                                       Connexions is the government's support service for all
                                                             young people aged 13 to 19 in England.

            CSR            Corporate Social Responsibility   The alignment of business operations with social values

            DTI            Department for Trade              The DTI works to create the best environment for business
                           and Industry                      success in the UK, promoting enterprise, innovation and
                                                             creativity, and also protects the rights of working people
                                                             and consumers.

            EC             European Commission               The EC is the executive body of the EU.

            ERDP           England Rural Development         ERDP is a framework for the operation of ten integrated
                           Programme                         schemes providing new opportunities to protect and
                                                             improve the countryside, to develop sustainable enterprises
                                                             and to help rural communities to thrive.

            EU             European Union                    The EU is a group of 15 European countries (including the
                                                             UK) committed to working together on a range of economic
                                                             and social issues. The EU will expand to 25 countries with
                                                             effect from May 2004.

            FE             Further Education                 There are 66 FE establishments in the region, including local
                                                             and sixth form colleges.

            FRESA          Framework for Regional            FRESA aims to develop co-ordinated and collaborative
                           Employment and Skills Action      regional approaches to identifying key challenges and
                                                             delivering actions to address regional employment and
                                                             skills needs using the wide range of supply organisations
                                                             in the region.
                                                                                                                Annex I   |   89

Acronym/term   Definition                          Description

GDP            Gross Domestic Product              GDP is the total market value of all final goods and services
                                                   produced in a country in a given year, equal to total
                                                   consumer, investment and government spending, plus the
                                                   value of exports, minus the value of imports.

GVA            Gross Value Added                   GVA is the enhancement added to a product or service by a
                                                   company before the product is offered to customers.

HEI            Higher Education Institution        There are 13 HEIs in the region, including universities and
                                                   agricultural colleges.

HTC            High Technology Corridor            The three HTCs offer businesses opportunities to modernise
                                                   and diversify, and to attract and develop high-tech, high
                                                   value-added businesses using existing research institutions,
                                                   and offer property opportunities such as incubator and
                                                   ‘grow-on’ space.

ICT            Information and Communications      ICT is an umbrella term that includes any communication
               Technology                          device or application, and may include radio, TV, cell
                                                   phones, computer hardware and software and satellite
                                                   systems, as well as associated services and applications,
                                                   such as video-conferencing and distance learning.

ILO            International Labour Organisation   ILO Unemployment is the internationally agreed definition of
                                                   unemployment. It is recommended by the ILO – an agency
                                                   of the United Nations. It is an estimate based on annual
                                                   survey results.

IP             Intellectual Property               IP may be defined as products of creativity, innovation or
                                                   R & D which can be given legal recognition of ownership
                                                   through patents, copyright, design right or trademarks.

LBX            Local Business Exchange             An LBX offers investors the opportunity to invest in regional
                                                   companies. The exchange will enable investors to access
                                                   investment opportunities in smaller companies at lower
                                                   search and transaction costs.

LSC            Learning and Skills Council         LSCs are responsible for funding and planning education
                                                   and training for over-16 year olds in the region. Their
                                                   mission is to raise participation and attainment through high-
                                                   quality education and training which puts learners first.

NHS            National Health Service             The NHS was set up to provide healthcare for all citizens,
                                                   based on need, not ability to pay. It is made up of a wide range
                                                   of health professionals, support workers and organisations.

NVQ            National Vocational Qualification   NVQs are work-related, competence-based qualifications
                                                   reflecting the skills and knowledge needed to do a job
                                                   effectively and are recognised by employers throughout the
                                                   country. NVQs are organised into a coherent classification
                                                   based on the competence levels required (Levels 1–5).

R&D            Research and Development            R & D covers the following related activities: basic research
                                                   – experimental or theoretical work undertaken to acquire
                                                   new knowledge, without any particular application or use in
                                                   view; applied research – as basic research, but directed
                                                   towards a specific practical aim or objective; and
                                                   experimental development – systematic work, drawing on
                                                   existing knowledge and directed to producing new
                                                   materials, products and devices, to installing new
                                                   processes, systems and services, or to improving those
                                                   already existing.
90   |   Annex I

            Acronym/term    Definition                           Description

            RAE             Research Assessment Exercise         Exercise to judge the quality of research in all HEIs.
                                                                 The quality rating, is judged against standards of national
                                                                 and international excellence on a seven-point scale, from
                                                                 1 at the bottom through 2, 3b, 3a, 4 and 5, to 5* (five star)
                                                                 at the top.

            RDA             Regional Development Agency          RDAs are responsible for setting and implementing the
                                                                 agenda for economic and business development,
                                                                 regeneration and improvement in the regions.

            RHS             Regional Housing Strategy            The RHS will underpin the approach to housing investment
                                                                 in the region in the future, influencing resource allocation.

            RZ              Regeneration Zone                    RZ link need to opportunity, encompassing areas
                                                                 of concentrated need – social deprivation and high
                                                                 unemployment – and substantial opportunity, whilst not
                                                                 being constrained by traditional administrative or sub-
                                                                 regional boundaries. Collectively, RZ include a third of
                                                                 the region's population, half its unemployed, three-fifths
                                                                 of its long-term unemployed and the most deprived
                                                                 wards in the region.

            SIC             Standard Industrial Classification   SIC codes classify business establishments by the type of
                                                                 economic activity in which they are engaged.

            SINEI           Surface Infrastructure of National   A study to set the need for new or improved transport
                            Economic Importance                  within an economic context. In particular, it identifies criteria
                                                                 to determine what constitutes ‘surface infrastructure of
                                                                 national economic importance’ and develops a framework
                                                                 that allows surface infrastructure of national importance to
                                                                 be identified.

            SME             Small and Medium-sized               An SME is a company with up to 250 employees and a
                            Enterprise                           turnover of no more than £25 million or a balance sheet
                                                                 total of no more than £17 million, and which is no more than
                                                                 25% owned by a company or companies not falling within
                                                                 this definition.

            Social                                               A Social Enterprise is a business with primarily social
            Enterprise                                           objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that
                                                                 purpose in the business or in the community, rather than
                                                                 being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders
                                                                 and owners.

            SPeAR diagram   Sustainable Project Appraisal        Diagram based on a four-quadrant model structuring the
                            Routine diagram                      issues of sustainability into a robust framework, from which
                                                                 an appraisal of performance can be undertaken.
                                                                                                         Annex I   |   91

Acronym/term   Definition                      Description

Structural                                     Funding from the EU to assist member states adjust to
Funds                                          structural economic change (NB parts of the West Midlands
                                               are eligible for Objective 2 funding and Objective 3 applies
                                               to all of the EU).

The Third                                      Comprises voluntary, community, social and environmental
Sector                                         enterprises.

TUC            Trades Union Congress           The TUC is the voice of Britain at work, representing 71
                                               affiliated unions. They campaign for a fair deal at work and
                                               for social justice at home and abroad and represent nearly
                                               7 million working people.

UCE            University of Central England   One of the 13 HEIs in the region.

UKTI           United Kingdom Trade            UKTI is the government organisation supporting companies
               and Investment                  in the UK trading internationally, and overseas enterprises
                                               seeking to locate in the UK.

URC            Urban Regeneration Company      Lord Rogers' Urban Task Force recommended in 1999
                                               that URCs should be established to co-ordinate the
                                               redevelopment of, and attract new investment into, declining
                                               urban areas. The first URC in the West Midlands was in
                                               Sandwell and second in Walsall.

WMES           West Midlands Economic          The WMES sets the framework for regional partners to
               Strategy                        improve the economy and social welfare across the region.

ZIP            Zone Implementation Plan        ZIPs set out the three-year planning framework for
                                               Regeneration Zones, incorporating the projects and
                                               initiatives that are to be delivered.
Designed by Design One: +44 (0) 1564 786800

                                                                                                                                   Advantage West Midlands
                                                                                                                                   3 Priestley Wharf,
                                                                                                                                   Holt Street, Aston Science Park,
                                                                                                                                   Birmingham B7 4BN

                                                                                                                                   Telephone: 0121 380 3500

                                                                                                                                   Printed on environmentally friendly,
                                                                                                                                   100% recyclable paper.

                                                                  Text-only versions of this brochure can be provided on request
                                                                  in large print, braille and other languages.

                                                                  Please contact the Marketing Services Team on 0121 380 3500.

                                                                                                                                                        REF: WMES01/2004

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