Birmingham have again shown that they have the ‘gravity’ to pull in not only the big names of industry and commerce. But also the headlines that go with it! This morning the headlines have all been about the ‘The future’s bright: the future’s Birmingham’ as they have again attracted foreign interest in investment.
But we should neither be resentful here in Wolverhampton, nor should we be coy about what is happening in Wolverhampton right at this moment.
Clever politics should allow us to take advantage of the ‘gravity’ that Birmingham is delivering to talk up our own successes.
If Birmingham have the ‘future’ we most certainly have the history!
A thousand years and more to be exact, and during those years Wolverhampton grew in phases. Yes the headline writers are pouring over Birmingham’s glitzy new image. But Wolverhampton are also building for the future. Like Birmingham we have we have our own ‘World Class’ cluster of aerospace companies that are performing well. We are very proud of them!
Here in Wolverhampton substantial investment is taking place. There is £50m of construction in our City Centre alone, and construction workers were today picking up their hard hats, and making ready for their days work! Its immediate and Wolverhampton is making it happen!
Cranes are over the –
- Wolverhampton Interchange I10 site – £8.1m
- University Business School – £15m
- Sunbeam Building – £10m
- Marstons HQ – £9.5m
- Wolverhampton Youth Zone – £5.5m
- Public Realm – £1.5m
- Other smaller construction projects have taken place in the last 12 months, and the total of those add up to £96m worth of projects constructed and completed. Sites like the New Sainsburys – £60m; University Science Block – £20m; Carillion House – £3m etc.Plus there is around a further half a Billion £’s of projects in line just a year or so away. Much is going on in Wolverhampton and the City Council is more than playing a role in the change. Plus we have new housing schemes taking place in Bilston Urban Village, and Wednesfield You can see that our future is also looking good. Maybe we are not quite so glitzy as Brum.
- For me when we add what is taking place in Birmingham to what we are pulling off in Wolverhampton, just 13 miles away from our younger neighbour .
- Jaguar Land Rover the largest and latest company to locate in Wolverhampton has poured £500m into its own site and has employed the first 600 employees of the 1,400 new workers it is planning to staff the site with.
- Now add the planned 2016 construction projects into the mix as a £174m schedule of schemes are made ready, and you have £320m worth of jobs and prosperity having taken place or nearing taking place in Wolverhampton City Centre.
But we have been no slouches over the last 1,000 years. I know we can make things happen in Wolverhampton, and I am confident of our future. Let’s use Birmingham ability to attract World wide attention, to achieve our own goals, with our own way of doing things. Look how our city of Wolverhampton has itself grown. In 1901 the population was nearly 95,000. By 1951 the population of Wolverhampton was 162,000.
Today Wolverhampton is an important regional centre. In 2001 Wolverhampton was made a city. Today the population of Wolverhampton is 249,000. We are still growing, and we can be proud of our achievements.