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Seven universities join forces to power up the Midlands Engine and boost growth


Seven Midlands universities have joined forces in a pioneering new partnership to provide a powerful economic resource for the Midlands Engine, after new Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated her support for the initiative.

Midlands Enterprise Universities, will see Birmingham City University, Coventry University, De Montfort University Leicester, University of Derby, University of Lincoln, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Wolverhampton, collaborate to support jobs and wealth creation in the region.

The consortium formally launched at Birmingham City University’s Curzon building yesterday (Tuesday October 4 2016) in front of a room of key business leaders, academics and local authority members.

The partnership brings the institutions together to create a unique pool of skills, research, expertise and facilities, which will be made available to businesses and local authorities to create jobs, boost economic growth and plug skills gaps across the East and West Midlands.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been in Birmingham this week for the Conservative Party Conference, has already pledged her support for the Midlands Engine, setting her sights on maximising the benefits of the region’s location at the heart of the country.

Midlands Enterprise Universities will use its knowledge and expertise to support businesses and sectors key to the region’s growth, including:

  • Manufacturing engineering and transport technologies
  • Creative and digital design
  • Food and drink manufacturing
  • Health and life sciences
  • Energy and low carbon technologies

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the Midlands Enterprise Universities initiative. We believe it can play a crucial role in helping shape and support economic growth across the region.

“By bringing the strength, scale and expertise of seven universities from both the West and East Midlands, we are perfectly placed to help develop and drive the skills agenda and help business and communities achieve their potential.”

The Universities collectively contribute more than £3 billion to the region’s economy and already work with many major organisations such as Rolls Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, PepsiCo, UNIPART and the BBC.

They are working closely with their supply chain companies and also deliver focused support to many local small and medium sized businesses.

The consortium is also working with the Midlands Engine to develop collective plans to improve the region’s economy. These include how to develop integrated routes for developing talent in the manufacturing and engineering sector, as well as how to provide a full package of business support to smaller organisations and start-ups with growth potential.


Photo caption (Left to right) Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of West Midlands Combined Authority; Professor Julian Beer Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University; Professor John Latham, Vice-Chancellor at Coventry University; Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton; Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby; Carol Burke, Managing Director for Unipart; Professor Nigel Wright Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at De Montfort University; Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor at Nottingham Trent University.

Editor’s notes:

Collectively the seven universities;

  • Generate more than 30,000 jobs for the region’s workforce
  • Employ more than 17,000 people
  • Have 126,000 students
  • Have committed £400 million to new developments over the next 12 months
  • Have invested £161 million in new facilities
  • Engaged 12,000 international students
  • Contribute £3.1 billion to the regional economy


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