Becoming the 'home of homebuilding' can help to finally get unemployment down in city

Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson says the city can become the "home to homebuilding" after the announcement in the Budget of a new construction taskforce.

Jane Stevenson MP (second left) at the former Springfield Brewery site, with Robert Jenrick, Geoff Layer, Ian Brookfield and Andy Street
Jane Stevenson MP (second left) at the former Springfield Brewery site, with Robert Jenrick, Geoff Layer, Ian Brookfield and Andy Street

If you want to get ahead, in the words of the hit song from Gypsy - “You Gotta Get a Gimmick”.

With the Budget announcement of £10m for a Taskforce on Modern Methods of Construction, based at the new Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) headquarters, I’m certain Wolverhampton has found its gimmick.

I think in business-speak we’d call it a USP, or Unique Selling Point. With the MHCLG relocation, our city is now set to become the 'Home to Homebuilding'.

I visited the Springfield Brewery last summer with Mayor Andy Street and Secretary of State Robert Jenrick.

We toured the new School of Architecture and the Built Environment and we saw plans for the National Brownfield Institute, which had just received £15m of Government funding.

We spoke about the importance of green spaces and of green homes, and I pushed the idea that Wolverhampton was the perfect city to be the national centre for the homebuilding industry.

Over the coming decades this industry will be huge. Apart from new ways to build greener homes we will also see retro-fitting of green measures in our existing homes.

The industry will see thousands of jobs created – from construction and research to design and manufacturing.

And it’s not just the buildings themselves – there will be further opportunities to innovate in fixtures and fittings, building on Passivhaus principles of energy efficiency.

If Wolverhampton can be a centre for innovation we also gain the potential to export our ideas and products around the world.

I believe the MHCLG move is the start of something very big for our city and I’m delighted the Government is investing so much in this vision for Wolverhampton.

It’s our new start. Our route to finally get local unemployment down. Our pathway to so many new opportunities for local people.

Wolverhampton should now send a clear message to business – our city is on the up and this is the perfect time to join our pack.

As Lord Rami Ranger tweeted recently - Invest in Wolverhampton. The Government is.

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