About the Midlands
The Midlands is covered by the UK government’s ‘Midlands Engine’ programme, which is supporting economic growth in the region.
The Midlands is home to 780,000 businesses, with an economy worth over 200 billion GBP. There are more than 10 million people in the region, offering companies a strong consumer base.
The Midlands is at the heart of UK manufacturing, providing innovative technologies for trains, planes and cars, as well as food and drink and life sciences.
The UK’s second city of Birmingham will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games - receiving 750 million GBP of investment.
Opportunities and incentives
SMEs locating in the Midlands can access the 250 million GBP Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This offers a range of support, from small business loans of 25,000 GBP to proof-of-concept and equity funding worth 150,000 GBP.
The Midlands has 8 government-designated enterprise zones. Benefits available to investors range from simplified planning and business rate discounts of up to 100% to enhanced capital allowances for items of machinery.
Each enterprise zone has support for specific sectors. For example, Ceramic Valley in Stoke- on-Trent supports advanced manufacturing businesses, whereas MIRA Technology Park in Leicestershire supports automotive research and development. You can contact us to find out more about how enterprise zones might benefit your business.
Skills and education
The 20 universities in the East and West Midlands produce over 100,000 graduates a year and include 3 institutions ranked amongst the top 100 universities in the world (QS World Rankings 2018). The Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham and Warwick are part of the UK’s Russell Group – 24 universities recognised for outstanding research.
The Midlands Engine Partnership, which brings together civic, business and academic leaders to support economic growth, will use £20 million from government to meet the region’s key skills requirements and provide 750,000 apprenticeships.
There are 22 science parks across the Midlands all contributing to its cutting edge research.
92% of the UK’s population can be accessed in under 4 hours via major motorway networks in the Midlands.
The region has 2 major airports. From Birmingham, 50 airlines fly more than 11 million passengers direct to 150 destinations every year. East Midlands Airport serves over 4 million passengers and is also the UK’s largest pure freight airport, handling 300,000 tonnes of cargo a year.
The Port of Grimsby, on the east coast, handles 500,000 vehicles a year and services the UK’s offshore wind industry.
Key cities in the Midlands have direct rail links to London in under 2 hours. In 2026 the region will gain 3 new stations from the 56 million GBP HS2 high speed rail project and journey times will be further reduced – London to Birmingham will take just 45 minutes.
There are a number of regeneration projects in the Midlands. If you’re looking to invest in infrastructure or find facilities for your business, this could be the ideal location for you. Find out more about opportunities in Midlands Engine