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Future Business Growth in the West Midlands:

Insights from the Insider Media Growth and Regeneration Breakfast.

The Insider Media West Midlands Growth and Regeneration Breakfast this week provided a great platform for discussing the future of business growth in the region, and what is needed from both local and the new UK government to advance this development. The event hosted eight panellists who discussed the challenges and opportunities for the West Midlands, covering investment in property, infrastructure and wider business growth, especially in family businesses and SMEs.

Despite his conflicting engagement at Downing Street, Richard Parker, the newly elected Mayor of the West Midlands, made a virtual appearance at the event through a video address, responding directly to questions posed by Insider’s Ian Griffen. Parker’s commitment to addressing ‘fault lines’ in transportation and skills, as well as deploying best practices from across other mayoral jurisdictions to address productivity deficits were evident. His strong relationship with important figures within the new government, such as Chancellor Rachel Reeves, are considered positive attributes for the region’s future. 

Steve Rigby, Co-Chief Executive of the Rigby Group offered supportive comments about the government’s direction of travel in terms of their focus on economic growth, emphasising the importance of patience as Parker acclimatises to his new role. He stressed that this is a moment in time, when businesses need to back themselves to benefit from the improving economic climate.

Eleanor Deeley, Joint Managing Director of the Deeley Group was encouraged by Reeves announcements around the introduction of housing targets and releasing of ‘grey belt’ for housing development. Other panellists supported the need for major upgrading of the planning system.

Despite the optimism, there remains considerable uncertainty surrounding the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) regime and other fiscal measures stimulating wealth generation. Attendees acknowledged that the specifics of tax policy will have significant implications for business investment and growth in the region. This uncertainty is especially sensitive for entrepreneurs, family businesses and companies wishing to attract inward investment. 

Ioan Reed-Aspley, Head of Corporate Affairs at East Midlands Airport highlighted the airport’s role as the second-largest air freight exporter in the UK, illustrating the significant potential and strategic importance of the wider Midlands region in terms of international trade and logistics. Parker believed that having a mayor in the East Midlands will be instrumental in re-energising the Midlands Engine.

Overall, the atmosphere was one of cautious optimism. There was a consensus that Birmingham is now punching its weight in attracting investment although the wider West Midlands area needs additional support to catch up. 

For more information on how the impact of this changing landscape affects the value of your business or the investment or exit options available to you contact us or complete the form below:

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