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28/11/2013
Black Country Enterprise Zone firmly behind innovation in UK’s automotive industry

The Black Country is one of five Enterprise Zones firmly behind innovation in the UK’s automotive industry. They are part of the Government’s Automotive Industrial Strategy which aims to secure the long term future of the sector and grow the UK’s share of it, using research and development to stay at the cutting edge of change.

Enterprise Zones are pushing the UK ahead of global competitors after attracting even more overseas investment, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said today. The latest investment from Swedish company, Haldex, is to create its new European Technical Centre at the MIRA Enterprise Zone, near Nuneaton Warwickshire.

The Black Country Enterprise Zone consists of 120 hectares in two locations with a range of sites available for development. The area has a highly skilled workforce and strong links between commerce and education in the manufacturing, transport, construction, environmental technology and business services sectors. Major employers in the area include: Jaguar Land Rover; Moog Aircraft Group; Carillion; ZF Lemforder; Caparo, and Hadley Group.

Innovative manufacturingBritish manufacturing

The Black Country has long pioneered innovative manufacturing processes and technologies while investment in education is an ongoing focus across the region. The West Midlands is home to 10 leading universities, two of the five UK business schools, eight science parks and a number of specialist education institutions within 55 kilometres of the Enterprise Zone.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles said, "We have acted fast to tackle the deficit. We are now focused on backing the industries of the future, growing the private sector and making Britain a great place to do business.

"When international companies like Haldex invest here, it shows we have got our offer right. Every 20 seconds, a car, van, bus or truck rolls off a UK production line and Enterprise Zones like MIRA Technology Park are magnets for the global motor industry with the best international businesses choosing them as their home.

"Making a big difference”

"This is just the beginning - Enterprise Zones - including the Black Country Enterprise Zone - are at the heart of our long-term economic plans. They are already making a big difference, attracting increased investment to the UK - half a billion pounds so far - and creating over 4,600 jobs in just a year and a half.”

Enterprise ZonesTom Westley, Black Country LEP Board lead on the Enterprise Zone, said, "The Black Country Enterprise Zone is a competitive, central location, which is at the beating heart of a massive cluster of manufacturing companies. Earlier this month we launched the Black Country Bullet as an online virtual car to showcase to attract investment from automotive companies and reinforce our message: Built in the Black Country - sold around the world.”

Ninder Johal, Vice President, Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said, "The automotive sector and Black Country manufacturing go hand in hand with a fine heritage and great opportunities for innovation. We are therefore delighted by the potential for inward investment that Enterprise Zones provide and how they will stimulate existing and new supply chain development amongst our automotive companies. We know that manufacturing is growing faster in the Black Country than in the rest of the UK and we have seen a significant increase in local and export opportunities over recent months.”

> For more information about the Black Country Enterprise Zone, including the Black Country Enterprise Zone brochure, please see the Enterprise Zone page.

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