Investment to help revive our ‘neglected’ industrial heritage

The West Midlands can return to its position as a manufacturing powerhouse on the back of a landmark £4 billion deal, a business leader has said.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street, left, with Legal & General CEO Sir Nigel Wilson
West Midlands mayor Andy Street, left, with Legal & General CEO Sir Nigel Wilson

Legal & General CEO Sir Nigel Wilson said the region's ambitions and a determination to "get things done" had been major factors in his firm's decision to invest here.

And he said it was time for a "regeneration of the industrial heritage" in the West Midlands, with investment in manufacturing a major part of L&G's plans.

Sir Nigel said: "We want to be involved in not just housing, but also health, education, transport, and also manufacturing. That's a big part of this area's roots, but it has been slightly neglected at the moment.

"We see a huge opportunity for the future for the regeneration of the industrial heritage in the West Midlands."

Sir Nigel said electric vehicles was one area that was ripe for investment, with the West Midlands already positioning itself at the forefront of the industry in the UK.

"They are here to stay and there is going to be a massive increase in demand for that," he said. "It would be terrific if the West Midlands really established itself as a leader in that field."

Sir Nigel said L&G's 'inclusive capitalism' approach had "delivered terrific economic and social results" over the past 10 years.

He said there was a "long list" of exciting projects in the pipeline in the West Midlands, the details of which will be revealed in the coming months.

"The key for us is that local people have to have the ambition and they have to want to collaborate," he said. "We need pace and energy to get things done.

"In the West Midlands we believe we have ambitious partners with the Mayor and his colleagues at the WMCA. We can take this to a new level."

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