Business case for East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Programme to go to Cabinet
The business case for a major growth programme, which aims to transform one of the most deprived parts of Birmingham, will be discussed at Cabinet next week.
East Birmingham is home to over 240,000 people and plays a crucial part of the city and regional economy - it is also one of the most deprived places in the country, where more than 25,600 people claim employment benefit
Many aspects of deprivation and inequality in this part of the city have been exacerbated by Covid-19, where many people struggle with ill health, face poverty and difficulty getting around.
Forthcoming major developments and investments associated with HS2, the Commonwealth Games and the Midland Metro extension to Solihull have created a unique opportunity to transform East Birmingham.
The Council has a 20-year strategy to make the most of this opportunity to regenerate the area, helping local people to benefit from the creation of over 60,000 jobs and 10,000 new homes over the next decade, and providing better access to education, public transport and health services.
This bold approach will in turn attract interest and investment for projects and schemes to other parts of Birmingham.
On 27 July, Cabinet will consider this proposal, which seeks £3.627m to establish an East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Programme to begin the delivery of this strategy. It will use a joined-up, multi-agency approach to maximise opportunities created by major projects and large institutions for the benefit of local people and organisations.
Key to this will be setting up a programme team, with the budgets it will require to develop and deliver a comprehensive package of projects, to position East Birmingham to secure significant public and private investment as well as identifying opportunities to scale up and make the programme financially sustainable beyond the first phase of activity.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I was born and brought up in East Birmingham and I saw the working class pride sucked out of the area when manufacturing jobs were lost during the 1980s and the sad truth is that for too many people, East Birmingham has never truly recovered.
"That must change. We're bringing investment and opportunities to Birmingham, creating thousands of jobs, but we must connect people in the east of the city to those opportunities. People must feel they have a stake in the city's success and this programme offers new opportunities for people to change their lives for the better and delivering lasting improvements to living standards, education and skills, access to jobs and opportunities, health, the environment and transport."
Liam Byrne, MP for Hodge Hill and chair of the East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Board, said: "Just on its own East Birmingham is one of Britain's biggest cities and it could be set to boom. HS2 will bring thousands of jobs to eastern Birmingham - but we've got to make sure those jobs are within reach of residents who currently live in some of our poorest wards.
"My goal is simple: East Birmingham residents must have their fair share of the economic growth that's set to arrive. So, this is a hugely important step for the city. The London Olympics transformed east London. We need HS2 to transform east Birmingham. That won't happen by magic. It'll need a plan. And after years of pushing for this I'm honoured to help lead the drive for the years ahead."
This month a £330,000 grant is also set to be accepted by the Council for a project which has been developed in parallel with the East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Programme.
The USE-IT! (Unlocking Social and Economic Innovation Together) scheme is the successor to a project which ran in north-west Birmingham between 2016 and 2019, focussed on connecting the local community with the benefits of major growth and development around Icknield Port.
In East Birmingham USE-IT! aims to pioneer innovative approaches to inclusive urban development which are tailored for the most deprived areas. This will include working closely with local communities to help them to benefit from forthcoming opportunities and to enable them to influence decision making affecting their area.
The business case report will be discussed by Cabinet on 27 July 2021, which will be livestreamed at 10am via the the council's YouTube channel for public meetings.
The conversation around the East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Strategy is ongoing, so you can share your views by contacting the East Birmingham Team by email.