Covid-19: Levelling-up Agenda Debate

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Covid-19: Levelling-up Agenda

Lord Ravensdale Excerpts
Tuesday 8th September 2020

(5 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Baroness Penn Portrait Baroness Penn (Con)
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In addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been running for more than six months, we are providing more support to businesses to take on new trainees, with more than £111 million to triple the scale of traineeships available.

Lord Ravensdale Portrait Lord Ravensdale (CB)
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My Lords, evidence from the Midlands Engine Observatory highlights the barriers to growth in the Midlands economy, leading to a gross value-added gap with the rest of the UK of around £76 billion. Will the Government confirm their commitment to back the work of the Midlands Engine partnership and support its calls for targeted investment to deliver on its policy of levelling up for almost 11 million people in the region?

Baroness Penn Portrait Baroness Penn (Con)
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My Lords, every place in the UK has a role to play in driving growth and the Government absolutely support the work of the Midlands Engine partnership. I am pleased to say that 30 places in the Midlands Engine region have been shortlisted for the next stage of the £3.6 billion towns fund to develop towns deals, and at Budget 2020 we announced £20 million development funding for the Midlands rail hub.