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Midlands Connect - an opportunity to connect the Industrial Heart of the UK

Commenting on the launch of HS3 in Leeds on 27 October, Black Country Chamber President Ninder Johal said "This is a great example of local leadership in action. The Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sir David Higgins have done an inspiring job at developing and supporting a new opportunity to invigorate the North.

"We already have Midlands Connect as a vehicle to drive East West connectivity across the Industrial Heart of the UK. Black Country manufacturing is dominated by small niche businesses who can turn around specialist requirements very quickly and to a very high standard. HS2 probably means less for them than a good local road network does. 90% of freight travels by road and we need better investment in the local road network alongside the vital motorway system.

"We have the opportunity to lead and inspire. We want Midlands Connect to be every bit as influential as Transport for the North. We need our local authorities, LEP and business leaders to take the opportunity for devolved powers to drive a radical agenda for change.

"The Black Country Chamber is leading the way in showing how its local economy can be doubled over ten years. We expect all the Midlands Chambers to work together to do the same across the Industrial Heart of the UK to assure that we get the right levels of investment and the responsibility to drive strategic growth. We know that London gets ten times the investment in transport per head than areas like the Black Country. There is no reason why we cannot enjoy similar levels of contribution, provided we can deliver the economic case to grow significantly. We are all responsible for finding ways to rebalance this economy and we need investment to drive economic growth."

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