Greater Birmingham’s impact on the technology sector was lauded in the House of Commons this week, with a special mention to Silicon Canal and those within the network for helping to nurture and grow digital and technology companies.
The discussion was centered around the growing economy in the West Midlands as a whole, with Prime Minister Theresa May recently visiting the world’s first zero-emissions vehicle summit in the Midlands this week. Coupled with the West Midlands recently being chosen as the 5G testbed for the UK, the region is showing signs of huge growth and a strong future.
During the Prime Minister’s Questions on 12th September, Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant asked Theresa May for her thoughts on the strength of the economy in the West Midlands, with May commenting:
“I was indeed very pleased to be in the West Midlands yesterday at the world’s first zero-emission vehicle summit, where I made clear my determination to put our manufacturers in the west midlands and across the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles.
“The Midlands has a very strong automotive industry. The growth of high-tech manufacturing across the region continues to drive investment: it is creating high-skilled jobs; it is boosting economic growth. The latest employment statistics, released yesterday, show there are now over 320,000 more people in work in the West Midlands than in 2010.”
Fabricant then praised the work of Silicon Canal in supporting this industry to keep growing year on year, mentioning the 40,000 people working in computer science with 6,000 different companies, making the West Midlands’ tech hub the second largest cluster of its kind in the whole of Europe.
With the latest annoucement that the region will be the testbed for the UK’s trial of 5G, the Prime Minister spoke about what she and her government will do to promote high-tech in the West Midlands.
She said: “I thank my honorable friend for highlighting Silicon Canal. I am sure that, like me, he was delighted that the West Midlands bid, which was pulled together by the Conservative Metro Mayor Andy Street, was chosen as the winning location of the Urban Connected Communities project.
“As my hon. friend mentioned, that will see the development of a large-scale 5G pilot across the region.
“DCMS is also working closely with the West Midlands Combined Authority to develop and deliver a region-wide digital skills partnership, which will bring together key sectors in the region, working on improving the digital skills of individuals, small businesses and charities. Ensuring strong government engagement and support for these sectors will be critical to the success of the government’s industrial strategy.”
We are incredibly proud to have been mentioned in the House of Commons this week, and are particularly excited that the region as a whole is being recognised for what we are all achieving.