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West Midlands to unveil £10bn of major construction projects

Rhiannon Curry
The high speed rail line, which will run through the West Midlands, will open in 2026 - HS2

Around £10bn of major construction projects including the complete redevelopment of land around new High Speed Two stations has been brought to the market by West Midlands councils.

An investment prospectus, which will be unveiled today by West Midlands mayor and former John Lewis boss Andy Street, outlines 20 different projects in the region. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), the body representing local authorities in the region, wants to attract domestic and foreign investors to help back the schemes.

The projects on the list include building billions of pounds worth of offices, retail and residential buildings around the new Birmingham International and Birmingham city centre HS2 stations. The high speed rail line will open in 2026.

Investment in the city centre alone could reach more than £1bn, the prospectus suggests.

Other schemes include redeveloping the Canalside area of Wolverhampton city centre, a project worth at least £150m, and building a £150m manufacturing facility in Nuneaton, as well as extending a manufacturing park currently home to Jaguar Land Rover. Some of the investment opportunities are as small as £4m.

We have a drum beat of momentum behind us both economically and culturally

Andy Street, West Midlands mayor

The WMCA has committed to making infrastructure improvements in the region, including a series of new Metro tram extensions, using money from a government fund it was allocated in November.

Mr Street said he felt that the region had reached a turning point and was increasingly popular with foreign investors, thanks in particular to its manufacturing industry.

“We have a drum beat of momentum behind us both economically and culturally,” he said.

“This prospectus will show how we are creating fresh opportunities in the former industrial communities of the West Midlands, turning brownfield sites into new homes, schools, offices and factories.”

It was also announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond this week that the West Midlands area would receive £350m to spend on housing development. The region wants to build 215,000 by 2031.