Advantage West Midlands is the Regional Development Agency (RDA) for the West Midlands, established by the UK Government in 1999 along with seven other RDAs, to transform England’s regions through sustainable economic development. All RDAs are non-departmental public bodies that are accountable to the Department of Trade and Industry. The underlying principle behind RDAs is that successful solutions to regional problems need to be rooted in the regions themselves, rather than being enforced by central government, thus reflecting the individual identities strengths and challenges of each English region.
Advantage West Midlands is the regional leader for developing economic prosperity. They work with a variety of public sector partners, voluntary and community organisations and the private sector, to develop strategies and support projects that will help to transform the West Midlands’ economy.
The Agency’s principle objectives, as defined in the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998 are:
- To further economic development and regeneration
- To promote business efficiency, investment and competitiveness
- To promote employment
- To enhance development and application of skills relevant to employment
- To contribute to sustainable development
Advantage West Midlands leads the development and delivery of the West Midlands Economic Strategy which has at its heart a vision that:
"The West Midlands will be recognised as a world-class region in which to invest, work, learn, visit and live and the most successful in creating wealth to benefit all of its people."
The Economic Strategy provides the framework, and defines the actions necessary, for the achievement of this vision. It enables Advantage West Midlands' resources to be aligned with partners' resources so that £20 billion in total will be invested in the region's economic development up to 2010.
Advantage West Midlands is working hard with its partners to create a better region in which to invest, work, learn, visit and live. They invest around £300 million each year into activities that will help transform the West Midlands’ economy, focussing on:
- Business – improving the collective performance of traditional industries and diversifying their business base
- Skills – leading the work of the West Midlands Regional Skills Partnership to set skills policy and priorities
- Infrastructure – working to improve transport, communication and land and property infrastructure within the region
- Communities – helping all of them, whether urban or rural, to enjoy a better quality of life
- Providing a powerful voice for the region by promoting the West Midlands nationally and internationally
Since Advantage West Midland’s establishment in 1999, it has created or safeguarded more than 100,000 jobs; assisted more than 40,000 businesses; and reclaimed more than 1000 hectares of brownfield land.
For more information, visit www.advantagewm.co.uk