WMCA receives first devolution funding payment

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has received £36.5m of funding through the region’s devolution deal.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced the transfer of the funds – the first of payments totalling £1.1bn over the next 30 years. The deal was signed in November last year.

Sajid Javid said: “The people of the West Midlands came up with a devolution deal which puts them in charge of driving growth and transforming local services.

“Today’s £36.5m boost is proof that we will equip them with what they need to fire up the Midlands Engine – the ability to boost long-term growth, create jobs, improve skills and invest in transport and innovation.

“With these significant powers coming directly from Westminster to the West Midlands, local people will also now have the chance to head to the polls and vote for a powerful new Mayor to put them into practice.”

WMCA Chairman, Cllr Bob Sleigh, added: “The West Midlands is the manufacturing heartland of the UK and a dynamic exporter of high quality goods and services but we believe there is much economic growth that remains untapped.

“That’s why this payment marks the start of an exciting new era in which we will be far better equipped to build on our strengths, improve productivity and skills and deliver the transport infrastructure and new homes our region needs.

“It gives us the tools to drive forward the Midlands Engine, helping to unlock growth, jobs and prosperity and ultimately a better quality of life for the four million people of the West Midlands.”