The business of economic development and regeneration
An Advantage West Midlands case study

Summary

Concepts:

Regeneration, West Midlands, economy, clusters, Regeneration Zone, industry, technology, growth, high technology, Birmingham, Agenda, Advantage West Midlands, RDAs, businesses, partnerships.

Summary:

The way in which products are made today is different, and there is far greater competition from across the globe to supply modern markets.

Areas that were once dynamic centres of industry can lose their vitality, as a result of changes in demand/buying patterns over time, or as new competing regions develop.

At the same time new growth poles develop.

Today businesses operate in a global rather than a regional or national economy.

Competitors for firms in Birmingham are no longer just those in Solihull and further afield in Manchester; instead they may be in Germany, USA, or China.

The West Midlands lies at the centre of the UK.

It is the country's manufacturing and agricultural heartland and the hub of the transport system.

The present government recognises the importance of economic management of the various regions of the country, steered by local people accountable to locally elected regional bodies and supported by central government, as well as an overall framework for development of the European Union.

A Development Agency is a body corporate and can have between 8 and 15 Board members.

Advantage West Midlands is the champion for economic regeneration acting with its partners as a catalyst for change to address the challenges and opportunities that the West Midlands faces in a global economy.

Ultimately, the Agency provides regional leadership, investment and action to create more, better jobs and improve the quality of life in the West Midlands.

The Agenda for Action outlines priorities for the first three years of the plan and establishes three main focuses for action that relate to the targeting and concentration of resources.

Zone partnerships have been established to drive forward the regeneration process and ensure that real improvements are made over the next 10-12 years.

Learning outcomes:

As a result of carefully reading this case study, students should be able to:

  • know that changes in the economy are brought about through changes in demand and supply
  • understand that economic change has an effect on regions
  • identify some of the traditional industries of the West Midlands
  • know some of the current strengths and challenges facing the West Midlands
  • explain the role and purpose of Regional Development Agencies (RDAs)
  • show that RDAs like Advantage West Midlands play a key role in framing regional economic strategies
  • explain how Agenda for Action is the vehicle for the West Midland's economic strategy of development and regeneration
  • describe the three priorities for Agenda for Action; Regeneration Zones, Clusters and High Technology Corridors
  • understand that Agenda for Action is based on local partnerships, and clusters of related organisations and individuals.

Advantage West Midlands | The business of economic development and regeneration

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