The West Midlands Combined Authority is based on an extensive Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) assessment, which tested whether the geographic area covered by the Black Country, Birmingham & Solihull and Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) would be more beneficial financially than the LEPs continuing to work separately.
As a result of this, the emerging WMCA plans used the geography to jointly develop an economy which is the strongest outside London and contributes fully to the Government’s vision of a wider “Midlands Engine for Growth”.
The West Midlands suffers from a significant shortage of skills both at the lower and higher ends of the skills spectrum. The skills deficit is reflected in the high levels of unemployment (9.3%) across the seven Metropolitan Authorities.
We need a fully integrated rail and rapid transit network that connects our main centres with quick and frequent services, and that increases the number of people who can readily access HS2 stations and main centres. By delivering this, we will reduce transport’s impact on our environment, improving air quality, reducing carbon emissions and improving road safety. The resulting network will allow the efficient movement of goods to help businesses to connect to supply chains, key markets and strategic gateways.
The West Midlands has a large and increasing population and that’s why housing is one of the WMCA’s key priorities. The Land Commission was established to take a fresh look at the whole question of land availability in the region and suggest ways to free up developable land.