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Foreign Investment Hub to Fire Up Midlands Engine

The government has revealed plans to establish a Midlands Engine foreign investment hub in Birmingham in a bid to generate a £15m boost for the region and create 1,400 jobs.

The plans were unveiled this week by business minister Anna Soubry at the Midlands Engine Summit at Nottingham Trent University.

The hub will be based near Birmingham International Airport and will bring together local enterprise partnerships from across the Midlands, as well at UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Its first trade mission to the US will take place in September and will be led by business secretary Sajid Javid in September 2016.

Soubry said: "Following the EU referendum result, I recognise there’s a level of uncertainty over what the future holds. But now’s the time to work together and support businesses to build partnerships that can help them grow.

"Local economies are key to the success of UK growth, and this new government funding for the Midlands will help attract investment, encourage trade and create jobs. So let’s keep telling the rest of the world what we already know: that the Midlands Engine is a great place to do business, with excellent universities and local leaders committed to seeing the area thrive."

The hub will also manage a £2m challenge fund, with eight successful bidders to be named over the course of the summit. The region's tourism organisations will also receive information of a £40m Discover England fund to promote their towns and cities to visitors.

Sir John Peace, Midlands Engine chairman, added: "I believe we are now ready to very clearly and very loudly speak with one united voice on the world’s stage – The Midlands is the beating heart of UK manufacturing, we are the beating heart of the country and the home to global iconic businesses, we are a magnet for investment and we can deliver results which can drive forward the UK economy.

"Now that we know the result of the referendum, regardless of individual views on the outcome, we in the Midlands must seize on this and turn it into an opportunity to deliver jobs, growth and innovation."

Last modified on Wednesday, 06 July 2016 09:21

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