New Mid­lands ‘cham­pion’

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - James Bro­ken­shire

THE new of­fi­cial “cham­pion” of the Mid­lands is James Bro­ken­shire.

The 50-year-old Tory MP is Sec­re­tary of State for Hous­ing, Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Govern­ment.

But he also has an­other ti­tle. He’s the Min­is­te­rial Cham­pion of the Mid­lands Engine – and yes, that is an of­fi­cial govern­ment po­si­tion.

It’s a role held by Sa­jid Javid, the MP for Broms­grove, since it was cre­ated in 2015.

The Mid­lands Engine is a govern­ment project sim­i­lar to the North­ern Pow­er­house.

It in­volves both the West Mid­lands and the East Mid­lands. One of the goals is to en­cour­age the two re­gions to work more closely to­gether, and that in­cludes im­prov­ing trans­port links be­tween them.

Ap­par­ently, Birm­ing­ham is stronger not only if it joins forces with Coven­try, Wolver­hamp­ton and Dud­ley, but also if it forges links with Le­ices­ter, Not­ting­ham and Derby.

There’s also a fo­cus on en­cour­ag­ing lo­cal govern­ment, busi­nesses and uni­ver­si­ties to join forces.

Busi­ness­man Sir John Peace, ex-chair­man of Bri­tish fash­ion house Burberry, is the Mid­lands Engine chair.

Mr Bro­ken­shire said: “The eco­nomic suc­cess of ev­ery re­gion of the UK is vi­tal to the suc­cess of our coun­try as a whole and this is go­ing to be more im­por­tant than ever once we leave the Euro­pean Union.

“I am de­lighted to be the new min­is­te­rial cham­pion for the Mid­lands Engine and to act as its ad­vo­cate across govern­ment.”


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