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Coleshill-based developer IM Properties (IMP) believes the Chancellor’s Midlands Engine Strategy has the potential to usher in a new era of expansion for the regional economy.

IMP’s managing director, Tim Wooldridge, was pleased that Philip Hammond had highlighted an array of strategic challenges which are currently barriers to growth across the region, such as connectivity, infrastructure, skills and productivity.

“We’re pretty pleased by his analysis, as we haven’t genuinely seen what was once called ‘joined-up thinking’ at the regional level, since the regional development authorities, such as AWM, were abolished,” he admitted.

“Yes, we all have great hopes for the new West Midlands Combined Authority, but it was good to see the government both really buying into the Midlands Engine concept, and setting out the pathways along which it expects the regional economy to travel.

“It’s crucial, as Mr Hammond’s statement made clear, that the future is about the private sector working ever-more closely with the public sector to deliver employment and wealth creation, for the good of the regional economy, and this statement has provided welcome clarity about the government’s thinking.”