Local Enterprise Partnerships approved

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, announced the approval of twenty four local enterprise partnership proposals earlier today. Those approved included the following from the West Midlands:

  • Birmingham & Solihull with E. Staffordshire, Lichfield &Tamworth
  • Coventry & Warwickshire
  • Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire
  • The Marches

Those not approved at this stage included:

  • The Black Country
  • Worcestershire
  • The West Midlands overarching proposal

Read more on the Birmingham Post website

A map of approved local enterprise partnerships is available from geocommons.com

Black Country Consortium seeks researchers and Head of Intelligence

Black Country see it in colourThe Black Country Consortium are currently advertising for a Head of Intelligence and two researchers to join their team.

The closing date for applications for both posts is 29th January 2010.

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GIS used to digitise brownfield land sites and inform planning in the Black Country

This guest post was contributed by Christopher Styche from the Black Country Observatory.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) were used as a tool for analysis in a project looking at brownfield land across the Black Country during the end of 2006–2007.

The purpose of the project was to inform policy makers involved with the implementation plans for the Black Country and emerging core strategy.

There was a strong partnership approach to this work with representatives from all four local authorities (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton), as well as the Homes and Community Agency and Advantage West Midlands.

This post describes the project step-by-step and the role of GIS within the project.

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How is the Black Country performing?

Map showing the number of workless people by lower super output area in the Black Country in May 2008

Map showing levels of worklessness in the Black Country May 2008 (click map to view at full size)

How can we tell whether real progress is being made towards achievement of the Black Country’s aspirations?

The aspirations are set out in the Black Country Vision and the  Black Country Strategy for Growth and Competitiveness.

The answer may lie in the newly developed Black Country performance management framework, which consists of 24 key indicators that measure achievement of the Black Country Strategy.

Supporting maps for each indicator are available on Black Country Knowledge (registration required).

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2008 Black Country education barometer published

Black Country Education BarometerThe Black Country Observatory has published the Black Country Education Barometer 2008 today.

The report indicates that Black Country schools are starting to close the gap with the national average GCSE performance.

There was a 6.6% increase in the percentage of Black Country pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs (compared to 4.2% nationally) and an 8% rise in pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths (compared to 2.6% nationally).

The Black Country must grow by 9.2% each year to reach the national average (in GCSE inc. Eng & Maths) by 2011.

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