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Published on Wednesday, 7th September 2016

Local business leaders & the Borough Council marked the launch of West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) at an event hosted by Holland and Barrett, one of the borough's flagship businesses.

West Midlands Combined Authority launch

The event, which was held at the Weston Hall Hotel in Bulkington, celebrated the exciting opportunities presented by what is the UK’s biggest devolution deal yet - the West Midlands will now benefit from an annual investment of around £36.5 million for the next 30 years, unlocking £8 billion worth of investment and generating an estimated half a million jobs. Furthermore, decisions about strategic issues like transport, regeneration and developing skills will now be made within the West Midlands rather than Whitehall.

Cllr Bob Sleigh, Chair of WMCA was in attendance together with Martin Reeves, the Chief Executive. Cllr Sleigh said:

“We’ve been given a great opportunity here to make real, lasting change for the future and we’re determined to seize it - we want the West Midlands to be the best place in the UK to do business.”

NBBC was the first authority in Warwickshire to join WMCA and Cllr Sleigh paid tribute to the Borough Council’s contribution to getting things off the ground.

Cllr Dennis Harvey, Leader of the Borough Council spoke of Nuneaton and Bedworth’s ambitions for the future, capitalising on the borough’s enviable strategic location between major urban centres such as Birmingham, Coventry and Leicester. He said:

“The Combined Authority brings a once in a generation opportunity to do more for local people and businesses, so it’s a real cause for celebration.

Our borough is well-connected in every way and an ideal business location. With our rich cultural history, superb national and international transport links and excellent development sites, we’re well placed to take advantage of opportunities for new enterprise.

We’re proud of all we’ve achieved so far and WMCA will help us take our ambitions to the next level."

Peter Aldis, CEO of Holland and Barrett and host of the event said:

“We’re hugely proud to be involved in helping to support the new West Midlands Combined Authority  and especially proud of the contribution Nuneaton has made to get this new authority up-and-running.

Holland & Barrett International is now a global business, with franchises in locations as diverse as Kuwait and India, but we remain true to our roots with our headquarters, and over 350 of our staff, based in Nuneaton as the driving force of our business.

We want to assure other businesses that the West Midlands has the primary infrastructure, the central UK location, and the talent to make it a real hub for innovation and enterprise. Like us, large businesses must invest in staff facilities such as car parks and building regeneration, and support partnerships such as the new West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to help them drive forward the West Midlands as a business destination for the UK.”

WMCA launchWMCA networkingWMCA launch - Cllr Bob Sleigh, Chair of WMCAWMCA launch - Martin Reeves, WMCA Chief Executive

For more information about doing business in Nuneaton and Bedworth check out the Council's website and this short film.