Yesterday the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills published the prospectus for the Midlands Engine, which sets out a vision for the economy in the region that is focused on productivity and driven by getting the most out of the Midlands’ workforce, research and transport. Akin to the Northern Powerhouse, this initiative focuses on an existing economy of £222 billion annually and a population of c.11.5 million people. 

The Midlands already has pedigree in driving growth: employment in the private sector in the Midlands grew more than three times faster than London and the South East last year. The ambition is to create 300,000 new jobs and boost the national economy by £34 billion.

Inward investment in the region is already buoyant, but there is recognition that this can grow substantially. Some key international deals in November include: 

- powered access specialists Lavendon Group, based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, being acquired for £506m by TVH (Belgium);

- Life Healthcare Group (South Africa) acquiring Alliance Medical Group, provider of medical imaging services and based in the Warwick Technology Park;

- Mexichem S.A.B. (Mexico) acquired Vinyl Compounds a leading developer and manufacturer of PVC compounds based in Derbyshire.