Boasting vast potential for economic growth, the Government’s latest initiative - the Midlands Engine - is ready to be powered up.
Positioned in the heart of the UK, the Midlands Engine is going through a vibrant and thriving renaissance with growing economy, businesses and property market.
Through five defining features – skills, transport, innovations, promoting its regions and finance for business – the goal is to unlock over 300,000 jobs and to boost the national economy with a further £34bn in the next 15 years.
What is the Midlands Engine?
Following the Northern Powerhouse initiative, the Midlands Engine was born as a way to boost the growth of the region, to unlock its full economical potential.
The initiative is comprised of 77 local authorities across the East and West Midlands - as well as including two authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber, two in the South East and three in the East of England. A further 11 Local Authorities Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) will work towards attracting financial investment to help develop connectivity and boost tourism in the region.
Standing with an economy worth £222 billion and an estimated workforce of 5.36 million, the Midlands Engine contributes with nearly a quarter (24.2%) of the UK’s economic output - primed for further growth with the assistance of the government.
Image: Chamberlain Square in Birmingham
Buoyed by the positive early stages of the Northern Powerhouse scheme, the Government has pledged to further their investment in the region, with chancellor Philip Hammond stating his intention to form a coherent funding strategy for the region in his 2016 Autumn Statement.
Witnessing significant growth in the number of businesses in the region – increasing by 96,000 between 2010 and 2015 – the Government’s first action has been to create a new £250 million Midlands Investment Fund.
Designed to offer a further boost to the growth of businesses, the fund is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to the region.
In addition to focusing on business enterprises in the region, the UK government has pledged funding to help the holistic infrastructure within the Midlands, with £15m allocated to lowering vehicle emissions, a £16m pledge for Aerospace firms and £14m for encouraging arts, culture, science, technology, engineering and maths in the area.
The Midlands Engine has also received attention from European organisations looking to capitalise on the region’s rise.
A £180 million fund was created by the EU Joint European Resource for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) programmes, to support the growth of Small to Medium Enterprises – to attract professionals and boost the growth for a range of sectors.
Image: Coventry Cathedral
HS2 - Bringing the Midlands Engine and the Capital Together
Building on the infrastructure already in place within the Midlands, the High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) is a Government scheme to improve the transport links between London and the West Midlands.
Projected to contribute an additional £1bn to the regional economy per annum and create a further 300,000 jobs opportunities, its first phase of the £56 billion rail link is due to open in 2026 and cut the 1.21 hour commute between London and Birmingham to just 49 minutes.
Since HS2’s announcement in January 2012, it has already boosted the rental growth along its route, with the proposed Midlands hub, Birmingham Curzon Street, seeing a rental increase of 23.7% according to the property investment platform Landbay.
Image: Birmingham New Street Station - A sister station at Curzon Street will be built to house the HS2 line.
With projected growth of 14% and 13% respectively over the next five years, the East and West Midlands are both set to experience a stronger upsurge in property prices than the UK average, according to property agency Savills.
Furthermore, as house prices and rents continue to be stretched to their limits in southern parts of the country, many property investors are choosing to relocate to regional cities – which has helped to boost rental growth and the regeneration process in the towns and cities across the Midlands.
Thanks to its high-tech and knowledge intensive economy, world class university and vibrant culture, Savills project that the Midlands Engine city Birmingham is to see a strong rental growth of 17% over the next five years.
Additionally, in a research by online property lending and investment business Lendinvest, both Coventry and Birmingham experienced an above the UK average rental yield during 2010-2016 – with an average rental income of 5.6% and 5.4% respectively.
Image: The Bull Ring in Birmingham
What is the Future For the Region?
Boasting projected growth of £34bn by 2030 by the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the region is expected to unlock 300,000 new jobs in the next 15 years, as the government continues to build on the progress made in the Midlands over the last decade.
With its exceptional potential for growth across a multitude of sectors, the Midlands Engine has quickly been placed in the international spotlight, with property investors benefitting from a variety of investment opportunities.
Furthermore, the region's property sector and businesses are expected to get a further boost in the upcoming Midlands Engine plans set by the Government, which will power up the region to reach its potential.
PrinvestUK has a range of exciting developments available for purchase within the thriving cities and towns that power the Midlands Engine.
Please visit our Midlands Engine Property Page to find out more the region and how it could be home to the next addition to your property portfolio.