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20 Dec 2022

Government’s underinvestment in East Midlands illustrates why it must back region’s Centre of Trading Excellence, says Chamber

Chronic underinvestment from central Government shows it is time for policymakers to “back the East Midlands to back the UK”.

That is the view of East Midlands Chamber after the latest Treasury figures indicated the East Midlands continues to receive the lowest public investment of all regions in the UK.

In 2021/22, spending per head in the region was £10,528 – below the UK average of £11,897.

Last month, Chamber delegates were joined by members and MPs at a reception in Parliament to launch a blueprint for growing the regional and national economy, titled A Centre of Trading Excellence: A Business Manifesto for Growth in the East Midlands and Beyond.

It presented Government with “the big opportunity” to further develop the East Midlands as a “Centre of Trading Excellence” via a series of policy asks including investing in infrastructure projects like HS2 East, Midland Main Line electrification and the A50/A500 growth corridor.

Government ‘must show it is serious about levelling up’

East Midlands Chamber director of policy and external affairs Chris Hobson said: “For years, the East Midlands has been bottom of the pile when it comes to public investment and it’s held back our potential.

Recent analysis by the Chamber and East Midlands Councils found we receive just 64.7% of the UK average for transport infrastructure spending – a gap worth £1.26bn per year to the East Midlands – while we also ranked bottom or near the bottom for spending on health, education, and economic and social affairs.

“If the Government is truly serious about levelling up, it must prioritise regions like ours and work with businesses to understand where it can target investment to grow the economy.

“Our Business Manifesto for Growth offers a useful starting point in this respect as we have set out a formula for how the Government can not only grow our economy but across the country too – in other words, it can back the East Midlands to back the UK.”

Read: A Centre of Trading Excellence: A Business Manifesto for Growth in the East Midlands and Beyond.