At a time of uncertainty for many businesses throughout the region, a new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has been announced by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce to promote the Black Country’s prosperity, economic growth, business and commerce.
The Group's remit includes ensuring that the government's 'levelling up' agenda is felt across the region and that the needs of business across matters such as transport, infrastructure, skills and manufacturing are heard. Over the coming the months, the Group will also be discussing how regional firms are given the support to survive, rebuild and thrive during the COVID-19 emergency.
Mike Wood, Member of Parliament for Dudley South and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beer was elected Chair at the inaugural meeting in February and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, with its links to local businesses, appointed as secretariat to the Group to provide support, policy and engagement services.
During the APPG’s inaugural meeting Mike Wood spoke to MPs from around the region about the importance of the group, he said, “I’m very proud to have been elected Chair of this timely and important group. The APPG for the Black Country economy will tackle many issues that affect my constituents’ livelihoods and businesses.
“Working as a cross-party group we can bring together politicians, industry and business to influence and improve practices and help to make the case for the positive economic impact following what can only be described as an unprecedented time in our history. I am thrilled to be championing the region.”
Corin Crane, Chamber Chief Executive and Matthew Lowe, Policy and Lobbying Manager, joined Mike Wood MP, Marco Longhi MP, Shaun Bailey MP, Stuart Anderson MP and the Rt. Hon Pat McFadden MP at the launch in February prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the country going into lockdown.
Mr Crane said, “In the current political and economic landscape businesses need to engage with parliamentarians and other stakeholders to ensure that their voice is heard.
“Over the next year, the new APPG will seek to create an open dialogue between parliamentarians, government, business and other stakeholders to ensure that the business voice is heard by decision makers.”
The APPG will also set up meetings with ministers and civil servants to discuss pressing issues that impact the region’s economic prosperity, never more important than in the months ahead as the country and businesses try hard to steer away from the economic impact of the Coronavirus.
Members interested in learning more about the work of the APPG Black Country Economy can contact Matthew Lowe at appg@Blackcountrychamber.co.uk