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Ian Austin MP, calls for HS2 to come to the Black Country and demands renewed focus on education and skills in speech on West Midlands economy

Dudley MP Ian Austin has called for “a new industrial revolution” to attract new investment and new jobs to the West Midlands.

In a speech in the House of Commons today he said the West Midlands needed to boost skills to bring new jobs in growth areas like low carbon industries, advanced manufacturing, bio-technologies and digital media.

Austin also called for the new high speed trains planned for the HS2 line from the Midlands to London to run from a new terminal in the Black Country, near the M5/M6 junction.

Dudley North MP Ian Austin will visit a Dudley manufacturing business tomorrow afternoon (Friday 13/7) with Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rachel Reeves MP.
They will visit Eurocraft, a successful Dudley firm that engineer, manufacture, and supply telecoms hardware to large UK companies such as BT and Virgin.
Eurocraft who employ over one hundred people, is profitable with a full order book but its opportunities for further growth and job creation has been restricted by the lack of available finance. 

Margot James, MP for Stourbridge, is encouraging local businesses to apply for government funding aimed at creating more private sector jobs.

Last week, the Government announced the launch of the third round of the Regional Growth Fund, worth £1 billion. Private companies are now being invited to bid for growth funding.

The Regional Growth Fund aims to stimulate private sector investment by providing support for projects that offer significant potential for long-term economic growth and the creation of private sector jobs. Black Country companies have successfully applied for a total of £9.6 million from previous rounds of the fund. This will allow them to expand their business operations, with a further £54.7 million of investment provided by the companies themselves. The projects will create and safeguard 700 jobs.


To celebrate national love your local market fortnight, Dudley Market is offering big discounts for new business start ups.

The fortnight, which aims to get budding entrepreneurs to develop their new business ideas on market stalls, runs from 23 June to 8 July with National Market Day falling on June 23.

Dudley’s council run market, in the heart of Dudley town centre, is offering a huge 50 per cent discount on centre aisle stalls to new market traders for their first eight weeks of trading.

The market, which trades from Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 4pm wants to give local people the opportunity to find out what it’s like to set up a business and run their own market stall.

A new £6million flagship learning and training centre for Walsall - complete with state of the art conference facilities - has opened its doors for the first time.

Construction engineers have now formally handed over the completed Innovation Centre, built on the Alumwell Business and Enterprise College campus, to Walsall Council.

Formerly known as the Healthtec Centre, the new learning and training facility will be used for "applied learning" by secondary students from across Walsall and will also be available for hire as a meeting and training venue for local business people, services and agencies