The government is “absolutely dedicated” to the Midlands Engine concept, according to communities secretary Sajid Javid.
In a significant ministerial show of support, Mr Javid, his predecessor Greg Clark - now business, energy, and industrial strategy secretary - and Conservative party chair Patrick McLoughlin all attended a reception for the Midlands Engine at the Tory conference last night.
In a brief speech Mr Javid said while the Midlands as a region was performing well it needed to do “a lot more” to increase its productivity. He said that could be done by working together, including with the government.
“We need to raise the productivity and there’s a lot that we can do together to do just that,” he said. “That means central government has a big role to play, working together with local people and local businesses.”
He continued: “Every part of government is absolutely dedicated to the Midlands Engine when it comes to infrastructure, when it comes to skills, and transport.”
Earlier Mr McLoughlin said the Midlands Engine “has got to succeed because if it succeeds the nation succeeds”.
Mr Javid said that was already bringing results with businesses which went on the trip picking up export orders.