Chancellor unveils new infrastructure cash for the Midlands

Chancellor Philip Hammond has allocated £392m of funding to boost the UK’s so-called ‘Midlands Engine’.

Speaking in Birmingham after delivering his first Budget yesterday, Hammond said the funding would help the Midlands realise its “enormous economic potential”.

The £392m funding for the Midlands comes on top of £1.5bn of Local Growth Fund cash already allocated to the region.

Projects to receive funding include £25m for tackling congestion and improving connectivity in the Black Country, £25m for transport infrastrucutre in Coventry and Warwickshire and £12m in transport improvements in Loughborough.

As part of a wider Midlands Engine strategy, the government also invited the region to set up a Midlands Connect transport body, which will oversee improvements including a roll-out of smart ticketing on buses in the region by 2018.

Other plans include greater co-operation to maximise the benefits from HS2 and the roll-out of 5G services in the region.