The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has created a new inclusive growth unit in a bid to boost opportunities for residents.
The unit, set up in partnership with a number of organisations including Public Health England, Birmingham University and the Local Enterprise Partnership, will ‘link cranes to communities’ the WMCA claims.
West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, said: ‘We want to ensure that the West Midlands renaissance extends to all of its residents.
‘Despite the region’s rapid growth, we know that many of its communities have not yet seen the benefits. Unemployment remains higher than the national average and evidence suggests that around 25% of children grow up with the experience of poverty.
‘That has to change, which is why this innovative partnership has been established.’
The unit will conduct a regular inclusive growth audit, conduct a citizen engagement programme, create a dashboard of public health and ensure inclusive growth is at the heart of the Local Industrial Strategy.
WMCA portfolio holder for cohesion, inclusion and public service reform, Cllr Steve Eling, said: ‘The Inclusive Growth Unit’s job will be to link cranes with communities.
‘This is a really innovative development being pioneered by the WMCA that will help to bring lasting benefits to our communities.’
Partners involved include:
- Public Health England
- The Barrow Cadbury Trust
- The Centre for Progressive Policy
- Localise West Midlands
- The Early Intervention Foundation
- City-REDI, University of Birmingham
- The Joseph Rowntree Foundation
- The Black Country Consortium
- Dark Matter Laboratories
- The region’s Local Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and the West Midlands Growth Company