Posted on 30th October, 2020

£235m vision for East Midlands

By Laura O'Sullivan

The future of East Midlands economy has been unveiled.

Covid-19 has impacted economies all over the world. East Midlands has unveiled a “historic fightback” to grow the economy with a £235m case to take to Government.

The plan hopes to see businesses, councils and universities to work together to develop a long-term plan to boost the economy in multiple ways. The vision will see 84,000 new jobs which will add billions to the value of the East Midlands economy.

This proposal is backed by the Midlands Engine partnership, who will propose for a new East Midlands Development Corporation. Three large scale development sites will be driven in order to drastically improve the current transport connections.  These sites will cover the size of three Olympic parks.

Midlands Engine chairman Sir John Peace, said: “Both Covid-19 and the Brexit transition pose significant challenges for our economy. It’s therefore critical that we have ambitious plans for the future – and that we’re ready to move fast.”

Pearce added “What we’re proposing is nothing short of a transformation. It has inclusive growth at its heart, and will deliver a level of social mobility which brings new community prosperity.

“Our economy is at an historic turning point. We must grasp industrial and environmental change, look beyond the impact of the pandemic, and drive new opportunities as the UK builds new trading relationships with the world.”

The Proposed Sites

East Midlands airport

East Midlands airport is already the UK’s biggest airfreight gateway. The airport will be further pushed to drive international trade by becoming the centrepiece of inland freeport. This will provide regional businesses with the opportunities of international trade with lower costs post-Brexit.

Freeports are ports where normal tax and customs rules for not apply. These can also be airports as well as maritime ports. They are designed to specifically encourage businesses that import, process and then re-export goods.

(Image: Midlands Engine)

Toton and Chetwynd

A new Garden of Innovation will be built using the planned HS2 Hub Station at Toton. This will feature a new community and innovation district offering jobs, homes and National Skills Academy for the 21st century. This will also unlock vital new transport capacity created by HS2 to drive better connections across the region.

An artist’s impression of how the new garden of innovation development would look at Toton (Image: Midlands Engine)

Ratcliffe-on-Soar

The Ratcliffe-on-Sour power station is one of the UK’s last coal-fired station. The vision aims to transform this into a technology, advanced manufacturing and energy hub. Long-term plans hope to develop real-world zero emissions technologies through combining the expertise of the region’s universities with ZERO, a global research centre.

Scott Knowles, chief executive of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is the right time to launch a united vision for the future of the region.

“Businesses and investors are looking for clear, long-term plans so that they have the confidence to exploit new opportunities.

“We can see huge, long-term potential in these proposals. The better connectivity unlocked by HS2 and the proposals for airport expansion can be combined with the redevelopment of Ratcliffe to achieve a long-term impact which really shifts the dial of regional economic performance.

“It is vital now that the Government backs these proposals to the hilt. We want to turn challenge into opportunity and the East Midlands Development Corporation is the right vehicle for us to do that.”

Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station (Image: The Guardian)

Wavensmere Homes

Wavensmere Homes are heavily invested in the Derby community through the development of Nightingale Quarter. It is so encouraging to see this kind of vision for the region to fight back against Covid-19 and its effects on the economy.

Our development lies in the heart of Derby city-centre which has already seen great success in terms of sales and progress.

We are always looking for opportunities to acquire land. Areas of interest include Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Oldbury, West Bromwich and Smethwick.

Read more about the development here