Liam Byrne, Shadow Mayor of the West Midlands, has today asked the region’s Tory Mayor to explain why three out of the seven boroughs in the region appear to have been left out of his plans to ‘Get Britain Building’ despite forecasts that unemployment across the region is set to double. 


The list of projects agreed by the Mayor - and set to be announced on Friday - proposes to spend 99.5% of his funding allocation to just 4 boroughs with projects in Walsall and Sandwell relegated to a reserve list, meaning those Borough could receive nothing.


This is despite new data shows that 152,000 people in Sandwell and Walsall are unemployed, furloughed or claiming self-employed income support.  


Liam Byrne said:  "We've got through the crisis so far by pulling together. But to get back on our feet we need to pull together like never before.’ 


'Instead the government has given us just 50p per person per week when we're set to be the hardest hit region in Britain and the Bank of England is forecasting unemployment will double. 


'And to add insult to injury the Tory Mayor appears to have missed out three out of seven boroughs across the West Midlands'. 


 “The Tory Mayor himself admitted that we need £3 billion in the West Midlands to get things back to normal and the economy working for the people again. Yet we've just been given 2% of that. Our Tory mayor likes to boast of his links to Downing Street but at this rate we're going to risk shutdown of swathes of our economy, like the John Lewis store in Birmingham'.  


Liam Byrne said: “The Combined Authority is meant to be a partnership of equals. Seven proud and historic boroughs and cities – working together for the greater good and yet, when there is some help available, the Tory Mayor seems to have forgotten about Sandwell and Walsall.”




  1. The successful projects are: (table included)



University Station rebuild £15,104,500

Precision Health Technology Accelerator – 10,860,000



Very Light Rail Innovation Centre - £12,350,000



Completing the Cultural Capital - £6,097,367

Very Light Railway Coventry - £1,765,800

Commonwealth Economic Legacy at Ricoh Arena, Coventry - £3,861,833



National Brownfield Land Institute - £14,875,000

Regional WM5G Application Accelerator extension - £1,000,000



  1. Unemployment, furlough and self-employed statistics

Furloughed through CJRS and Claims for Self-Employed Income Support


Unemployment entitlements



  1. Bank of England employment statistics.

Unemployment Scenarios


Bank of England

UK Labour Force

UK Labour Force

Forecast Unemployment Rate


1. Forecast UK Unemployment in 2021


2. W Mids current share of UK unemployment *


3. Implied W Mids unemployment 2021 (1 X 2)


4. Current West Midlands unemployment


Potential rise