Prime Minister in Black Country to lay out huge investment plans
Boris Johnson was today due in the Black Country to outline plans for billions of pounds of investment as part of his "levelling up" agenda.
In a major speech in Dudley, the PM will launch a new national programme aimed at getting the country back on its feet following the coronavirus pandemic.
It will include huge investment in infrastructure and technology – a move Mr Johnson hopes will help Britain avoid the mass unemployment predicted to hit the country over the coming months – and follows yesterday's announcement of £1 billion for major school construction projects.
A large chunk of the cash is expected to land in the West Midlands, with Mr Johnson viewing the region's prosperity as crucial to the success of the nation's economy.
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The PM said: "What we're going to be doing in the next few months, is really doubling down on our initial agenda, which was all about investment, if you remember in infrastructure, in education, in technology, to bring the country together.
"This is the time to invest in infrastructure. This is the time to make those long term decisions for the good of the country and frankly, there are things we need to do now to sort out the way the UK works that should have been done in the last few decades."
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has outlined a recovery plan for the region, asking the Government for £3.2 billion over the next three years to help rebound from Covid-19.
The money has been earmarked for a new 'gigafactory', investment in healthcare innovation and major infrastructure and transport investment, which Mr Street says will help safeguard more than 135,000 jobs.
He said the PM was "ambitious" for the West Midlands and had committed to "levelling up region's like ours".
Dudley North MP Marco Longhi said: "“This Prime Minister is going to make things happen for Dudley and the rest of the country, he keeps his promises.
"We are going to level up utilising high quality projects, making sure we give opportunities to those who have not had them before."
Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for a 'back to work' Budget focusing on job creation.
The UK economy suffered a record slump in April, with GDP plummeting by 20.4 per cent. The West Midlands is expected to be one of the hardest hit regions in the country by the pandemic.