City Deal

The Black Country City Deal will build on the long history and high performance of Black Country manufacturing and support the growth of high value manufacturing (HVM), particularly in the automotive and aerospace sectors.

Download the City Deal document here>> 

The Deal 

At the heart of the Black Country City Deal is an ambitious proposal to maximise the growth of high value manufacturing by opening up key supply chain manufacturing sites across the Black Country. To deliver this flagship proposal City Deal partners have created: 

  • Black Country Investment Fund – available through a £20m Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) project rate loan facility to stimulate the local commercial land market through the provision of finance to developers of key industrial sites. 

For further information or advice please contact:

Andy Croot
01527 889225

Chris Thomas
01527 889220 

Apply for Black Country Investment Funding here.

The Black Country Investment Fund is complemented by skills, business support and welfare dependency reduction proposals. These proposals are designed to support high value manufacturers through increasing the supply of skilled young people taking up careers in engineering, improve the support to local businesses and encourage local unemployed people to move into manufacturing employment. To deliver this City Deal partners have: 

  • Agreed to deliver 1,500 additional High Value Manufacturing apprenticeships over five years. Local partners will work to increase the number of young people taking up apprenticeships in key engineering skills and support businesses to employ apprentices. 
  • Created a Black Country business support programme that improves co-ordination of business support services across the Black Country; increases access and take up of national business support programmes; provides bespoke support to local businesses and acts as a focal point for inward investment. For further information on business support visit the Black Country Growth Hub.
  • Set up a demonstration project to reduce welfare dependency and increase employment in two areas of high unemployment. The ‘Working Together’ project learns from successful programmes in the USA and aligns with the Troubled Families and Help to Work programmes. It contains three core areas of work: providing intensive employment support services and repayable financial incentives to overcome costs associated with starting work.

Read on for further information and the latest updates on the Working Together project.

City Deal – ‘Working Together’ Project 

The Accord Group is the lead delivery partner for City Deal ‘Working Together’- a pilot project which aims to increase the employability and employment of 2,800 long-term unemployed and economically inactive Black Country social housing tenants and move 900 of them into work over a three year delivery period. The pilot covers  the geographical areas of:

  • Walsall - Darlaston South 
  • Wolverhampton - Bilston East
  • Dudley – St Thomas’s
  • Sandwell - Princes End

The project is a holistic “Journey to Work” programme which pulls together the key partner organisations and delivers tangible results for employers, employees, housing providers as well as delivering on the wider growth, Welfare to Work and the government’s deficit reduction agendas.

The target groups / eligibility criteria for this project are:

  • Social housing tenants (and those in private rental)
  • Living in the specified 4 geographical wards
  • 18+ all age programme, with a specific focus on 24+ age groups
  • Economically inactive (any benefits)
  • Long term unemployed 6months+

The targets of the project are to:

  • Engage with 2,800 targeted people
  • Move 900 into employment
  • Save £1.1 million reduction in the welfare benefit bill
  • Increase in wages of £19 million with a proportional increase in Income Tax paid.

To read about the project's achievements over the 4 years, please visit our news pages.

'Working Together' Project Evalution documents:

RESEARCH & EVALUATION: Interim Report Summary At a Glance

Project Evaluation: Findings from the first phase of qualitative research, observations & data analysis 

Project Evaluation: Interim Report 

Baseline Review and Data Refresh 

Case Studies 

Review and Evaluation: Review of Approach to RCT & Identification of Control Groups

Interview Instruments 

Mapping and Gapping:

Social Housing Mapping 

Critical Analysis 


The City Deal Project has now finished and is being closed down. For enquiries about the project call 01902 571201. For inforamtion on evaluation of the project please contact