Don't forget the West Midlands, MP tells minister

The Government must not forget the West Midlands when it talks about its 'levelling up' agenda, an MP has told a minister.

Robert Jenrick visited Telford in September
Robert Jenrick visited Telford in September

Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, was making the case for a £25 million training and enterprise quarter next to Telford railway station.

Speaking during a House of Commons debate, Mr Pritchard asked Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick to carefully examine Telford's bid for a share of the Government's £3.6 billion Towns Fund.

He asked Mr Jenrick: "Can I put in a very strong plea that, while we want to level up northern towns, we do not forget the West Midlands towns?

"Can I also put in a very strong bid for the full £25 million, please?"

Mr Pritchard praised the "excellent proposals" drawn up by Telford's town board to create a learning quarter specialising in maths and digital education, with close links into local manufacturing.

Mark Pritchard MP

Mr Jenrick, who visited the site of the proposed development in September, said he had been most impressed by the scheme.

He had been shown a 5.4-acre site which had been earmarked for the development.

"I met the chief executive of Telford and Wrekin Council and members of the town board, who showed me some of their exciting proposals, including the beautiful new bridge linking Telford railway station with the town centre and the science and technology section of the town that they are hoping to build adjacent to the shopping centre," he said.

"That seemed a very strong proposal to me, but of course I look forward to receiving the proposals in due course."

Telford is one of 100 towns across the country invited invited to bid for a share of the Towns Fund. The scheme aims to drive long-term economic and productivity growth through investment in connectivity, land use, economic assets including cultural assets, skills and enterprise infrastructure.

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