A consortium led by borough-based Arup has been appointed by Solihull Council to develop a prospectus for the ‘M42 Economic Gateway’.
The aim is to showcase the concentration of economic assets and growth drivers of national and regional significance in the borough including Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre, Jaguar Land Rover, Birmingham Business Park, the Blythe Valley Regional Investment sites and Solihull town centre.
It is hoped this will drive economic growth in Solihull and the wider region through the Local Enterprise Zone.
The area between junctions 4 & 6 of the M42 is already estimated to support over 100,000 jobs producing £5.1bn income.
It is thought that the Gateway could create 63,000 new jobs in Solihull and many more in the wider region.
The prospectus will provide a clear road map setting out how the council and its partners will respond to both the pressures and opportunities for growth in a managed way, complementing the Birmingham Big City plan, and driving economic recovery in the West Midlands.
Councillor Ken Meeson, Leader of Solihull Council, said: “The M42 Economic Gateway project brings tremendous economic opportunities for the borough. The council is taking the lead in developing a ‘road map’ to make sure we manage the growth and ensure it brings the right benefits to Solihull and the region, whilst respecting Solihull’s unique character.”
On confirming the appointment of Arup, Councillor Meeson stated: “This is a major piece of work that will really help us to maximise the potential of the M42’s connectivity and deliver jobs and prosperity across the wider West Midlands. It will also help to build on the borough’s reputation as a great place to live, work and invest.”
Jerome Frost, director of Arup and the project director for the study, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to undertake this study.
“The M42 Economic Gateway study will build on the very strong base of economic assets and track record of delivery in the corridor to position the Gateway area as one of Britain’s premier locations for investment and growth.”