What is the West Midlands Combined Authority?
Launched in June 2016, the WMCA is a collection of councils from the West Midlands boroughs have now have responsibility for region wide issues including economic growth, jobs, skills, transport and homes.
There is also some responsibility for mental health services and the youth justice system. The WMCA makes decisions previously taken by central government in London or by government agencies. It will benefit from a potential £8 billion extra government funding and investment over the next few years – with more to come if the initiative is a success.
Who is involved?
Andy Street, the West Midlands Mayor, heads the WMCA and seven constituent authorities have full voting rights: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
There are nine non-constituent authorities: Cannock Chase, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Redditch, Tamworth, Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire, Stratford-upon-Avon, Rugby, Warwickshire, North Warwickshire and Three local enterprise partnerships (business development groups): Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, and Greater Birmingham.
How does Coventry benefit from the WMCA?
- Friargate is the biggest development in the WMCA.
- £200 million will be spent on Coventry city centre regeneration.
- £400 million will be spent on the Coventry to HS2 Improved Connection.
Collectively, the WMCA authorities will benefit from:
- Millions of pounds of business rates collected locally and spent locally.
- £35.5million a year for 30 years in a deal it says will support additional local borrowing of £1bn.
- £1.3 billion on devolved transport schemes.
- £1 billion Collective Investment Funds – Industrial and Commercial.
- £200 million Land Reclamation Fund.
- £500 million Relvolving housing fund.
- £100 million on other smaller programmes.