Greater Birmingham

15-17 May 2019

Creating an Environment for Inclusive Economic Growth

Birmingham and the West Midlands have seen big changes in their governance structures through the recent establishment of the West Midlands Combined Authority. With a remit to bring together 18 local authorities and four Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs) to move power from Whitehall to locally-elected politicians, the region is of huge interest to METREX member organisations eager to learn about how the WMCA was established.

West-Midlands Combined Authority / Greater Birmingham

At our Spring Conference in San Sebastian in June 2018, the capital city of the Gipuzkoa region in the Basque Country, METREX members were introduced to the long-term vision of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the transport authority within the WMCA. The presentation and subsequent discussions demonstrate to METREX the potential power of learning to be drawn from the experience of setting up the WMCA. Now, we are delighted to confirm 15-17 May 2019 as Conference dates.

Over two days we will focus on the vision and delivery plans of the WCMA and TfWM, the relationship between the distinct places in the region and the role they play in its success. We will put what we have heard into context with visits to various parts of Birmingham, the region and their communities. We will hear about the preparations for the XXII Common Wealth Games in 2022 and its planned legacy.

We will also bring to Greater Birmingham knowledge and insight from the METREX membership, a network of organisation that represent over 45 regions across Europe. This experience, together with Greater Birmingham as a newly formed laboratory from which we will learn, will make for a highly stimulating three days.

We look forward to welcome you in Greater Birmingham!

Day 1 Wednesday 15 May
Venue to be confirmed

Daytime: Expert groups (timings to be confirmed)

• Nordic Network
• Baltic Space
• EconoMETREX
• Urban-Rural tbc
• SURE (Amsterdam Brussels Cologne)

Evening: Informal reception

Day 2 Thursday 16 May
Venue to be confirmed

Morning:
08:30 Registration

09:00 Opening by Dr. Nicola Schelling, METREX President and Director Verband Region Stuttgart

09:15 Opening keynote by the West Midlands Combined Authority

09.45 Creating an Environment for Inclusive Economic Growth

Introduction to Greater Birmingham and the West Midlands

  • The WMCA Vision
  • Urban and Rural: the Birmingham Story
  • Employment and Education: The WMCA Approach to inclusive growth
  • Affordability and Accessibility: Using HS2 as a catalyst for Regional Transport

METREX members will act as peer review for each introduction. Followed by debate and discussion

12:00 Lunch

Afternoon:

13:30-17:00 Study visits to sites in Birmingham City Centre and other regional cities, including:

  • Paradise
  • Solihull
  • Digbeth/Birmingham City University, Curzon Street
  • Wolverhampton

Evening:

19.30 Dinner – Venue to be confirmed

Day 3 Friday 17 May
Venue to be confirmed

Morning: 09:00 – 11:30

08:30 Registration

09:00 Welcome

Parallel sessions on the following issues, held across various venues in Birmingham. Each sessions is chaired by a METREX member.

Urban and Rural
An integrated vision on the wider region

Employment and Education
Creating wealth to enable sharing wealth

Accessibility and Affordability
Connecting city services to all people

Economic growth and Environment
Creating balanced growth

12:00 Lunch

Afternoon:

13.30 Feedback on parallel sessions

14.30 European Metropolitan Experiences

  • Presentation Results from the Baltic Space
  • Presentation from a partner city

15.00 Closing Keynote

15.30 Close of the conference

Study visits to sites in Birmingham City Centre and other regional cities will take place on Thursday 16th February.

13:30-17:00 Study visits to sites in Birmingham City Centre and other regional cities, likely to include:

  • Paradise
  • Solihull
  • Digbeth/Birmingham City University, Curzon Street
  • Wolverhampton

Further details on the study tours to be confirmed soon.