WMCA Budget sets out major investments to drive economic growth

Funding for infrastructure, land regeneration and job training schemes to help drive the region’s post Covid-19 economic recovery and fight climate change has been set out in this year’s West Midlands Combined Authority budget.

A package of major transport projects to tackle air pollution and better connect people to jobs, education and training opportunities are included in a 2022/23 WMCA budget totalling £879.2m. Money is also allocated to transform even more derelict industrial sites for new homes and jobs, helping to relieve pressure on the green belt. 

The Budget, which was approved by the WMCA Board last week, includes an Adult Education Budget of more than £140m to give people the skills they need to get back into work quickly and secure jobs in growing sectors such as construction, digital and the emerging green industries. For the fifth year running the budget will not include a mayoral precept on people’s Council Tax bills. Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said:

“We had been the fastest growing region outside London before Covid struck, but there’s no escaping the fact that the pandemic has hit our local economy, and people’s pockets, hard.

“That’s why the most important part of this year’s budget is the lack of a Mayoral precept for the fifth year running, as we continue to do what we can to keep people’s bills low – especially at a time when the cost of living is a concern for many.

“At the heart of our budget is a focus on helping the West Midlands recover in a way that creates tens of thousands of new jobs, especially in the green industries of the future, and gives people the skills they need to fill those jobs.

The budget also supports the on-going expansion and decarbonisation of our public transport network with new Metro and rail lines, pollution free buses and more cycle routes, helping us realise our #WM2041 ambition to become a net zero region within the next 20 years.

“But with a growing population we also need more homes and commercial premises, which is why we have allocated nearly £90m for housing and land projects including the regeneration of derelict brownfield sites, helping to save precious green belt fields from the bulldozer.

“All the investments set out in this budget will help create and protect jobs as we recover from the pandemic and support our ongoing fight against climate change.”

The approved capital budget includes £379m for the WMCA’s transport arm - Transport for West Midlands - to deliver schemes that will improve connectivity, drive economic growth and cut carbon emissions by making it easier and more attractive for people to switch to public transport. This includes:

The on-going construction of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill and Birmingham Eastside Metro tram extensions, new railway services and stations on the Birmingham Camp Hill and Walsall to Wolverhampton lines, a new bus and Metro interchange station in Dudley town centre and £11 million investment in new cycle routes and projects.

In addition, the £143m Transport revenue budget will deliver £59m for concessionary travel for older people, the blind, disabled and children plus, £18.7m for Commonwealth Games delivery, £13.4m available for subsidised bus services and £6.7m for Accessible Transport. 

Money committed for housing and land projects will be targeted on supporting the WMCA’s nationally leading brownfield regeneration programme to unlock and redevelop even more derelict urban land and help safeguard the green belt. 


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