New investment zone in the West Midlands welcomed, but not without challenges.

Professor Simon Collinson responds to the announcement that 12 investment zones will be created near universities in England, including in the West Midlands.

A stack of coins in front of a clock.

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This is very good news for the West Midlands and other regions in England. Government investments into industry clusters where we already have excellent universities, and a strong science and technology base, are welcome.

The first challenge is to leverage these funds to attract private sector investment and stimulate stronger economic growth across the region. The second challenge is to make sure that this growth is inclusive, by enabling smaller local firms to benefit and supporting up-skilling programmes to improve incomes in more deprived communities.

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