The Prime Minister today made a keynote speech from Dudley in the West Midlands, outlining this Government’s determination to scale up investment and infrastructure in the UK.
The impact of the coronavirus on our economy has been huge, with a massive impact on people’s livelihoods and jobs. The Prime Minister has been clear that there will be no ‘austerity’ approach to the recovery from coronavirus – and that this Government will focus on growth through investment. The Prime Minister has particularly noted the need for improvements the social care sector, the efficiency of Government, education and regional inequalities.
The West Midlands and the Black Country have been at the heart of innovation throughout our history, driving enterprise and growth in Telford and across the country. Pioneers such as Thomas Telford and Abraham Darby drove the industrial revolution in their time, and we seek to replicate their vision today. The Government’s Towns Fund sees £25 million allocated to Telford to drive growth and to encourage innovation and enterprise, with a further £7 million recently announced for the redevelopment of the Station Quarter.
The Prime Minister has identified the skills gap and connectivity gap as a key driver of inequalities in the UK and today announced a massive programme of spending to level up opportunity.
All UK infrastructure will be subject to review to assess whether it is fit for purpose in a post-coronavirus world. The Government will also work as quickly as possible to roll out new infrastructure so the benefits can be felt as soon as possible. HS2 will be fast-tracked, with Northern Powerhouse rail from Manchester to Leeds driving growth in some of our least connected regions, including the West Midlands. HS2 will directly benefit Telford by allowing more direct services between Telford Central and New Street, Dudley and Euston.
The Government will begin its hospital building programme and oversee a £34 billion funding boost in the Health Service - the greatest investment in the NHS in its history. There will also be a new 10-year school building programme to upgrade facilities across the country. Young people will be at the heart of this vision, with a huge focus on apprenticeships, skills training, and technical education.
Furthermore, on the environment, there will be investment into flood defences and tree-planting, ensuring the sustainability of our environment and water courses, which is especially important given recent flooding in Ironbridge. The long term environmental resilience of our communities is key to ensuring that the effects of flooding are minimised and properties and businesses can be protected.
Lucy Allan MP said:
“I am delighted that the Government not only continues to deliver on the ambitious manifesto it was elected on, but is accelerating its agenda to meet the challenges presented by Covid. It is clear that the promises made to the public in December are the central driving force of this Government, which has a mission to level up the country and reduce inequalities wherever they exist.
This is good news for Telford and the West Midlands, which will directly benefit from measures announced today by the Prime Minister. My constituents will benefit from improved infrastructure, public services and a focus on dynamism to drive innovation and rapid change.
This spending is much needed at this challenging time, and will allow Telford to seize the opportunities of the post-COVID world. I will continue to lobby the Government and the Prime Minister for greater investment in Telford, including for technology accelerators and a sustainable alternative to the Future Fit proposals for the Princess Royal Hospital.”