***Embargoed until 2230 Hours Tuesday 9 February***
‘Once again the West Midlands is being overlooked and left behind.’ - BYRNE
New figures have revealed that businesses across the West Midlands have been awarded an average grant of £686,666, the lowest average grant in England.
The ‘Future Fund’ aims to support pre-revenue, pre-profit innovative businesses affected by the Covid crisis that are normally reliant on equity investment, but it has actually embedded existing regional inequality and left the West Midlands lagging behind far behind other major cities.
The allocation for Britain’s second city is only 3.4% of the size of the £590.6m budget for London, 17.2% of the size of the £199.9m granted to the South East and 39.7% that of Manchester and the surrounding region.
The approval rate for applications for the West Midlands (79%) was also lower than the high 84% approval rate for applications from London and the South East.
With two thirds of UK applications for the Future Fund coming from London and the South East, the figures also shine a light on economic inequalities - and the failure of the Conservative Mayor to build the right conditions for innovation.
Liam Byrne has been worried about the state of innovation amongst business, chairing a business round table with business leaders across the West Midlands on Friday (5th of Feb) where he discussed his strategy for how best to rebuild the post-covid West Midlands economy. More details on his plans are available upon request.
Liam Byrne MP, Labour candidate for West Midlands Mayor said:
“Once again the West Midlands is being overlooked and left behind. We've secured a miniscule 3% of the cash shovelled into London to help new business grow.“In places like Manchester and London where strong Labour mayors are on the pitch, the results are clear. There is more money to help. "That's why it's time we had a Mayor to actually stand up for our region and not just stand by.”
Notes to Editors
Full statistics attached.
Oliver Longworth – Press Officer for Liam Byrne – email@example.com - 07468611694