A new book from the Observatory, West Midlands: Fit for the Future?, was launched yesterday.
The book aims to stimulate debate, promote discussion and influence policy on the future growth of the West Midlands region. The focus is on the future prosperity of the West Midlands, rather than on the effects of the recession, and exploring the region’s ability to maximise its potential as we move out of the downturn.
Richard Hyde, Chair of the West Midlands Regional Observatory, launched the book at an event held at St. Martin’s Church in Birmingham.
Launching the report, Richard Hyde:
I was very keen that the Observatory was able to help the West Midlands’ policy makers prepare the region for the recovery. Fit for the Future? is the start of that dialogue.
In his ‘first public utterance’ as incoming Chair of the Advantage West Midlands Board, Sir Roy McNulty said:
I would like to congratulate the Observatory on producing this book [Fit for the Future?]. I think it’s an excellent idea and an excellent contribution.
It’s clear to me that the West Midlands’ economy faces some real tough challenges. To an extent, the recession has exacerbated and accentuated those. But I think the fundamental challenges were there in the first place. And if we are going to deal with them successfully, then we need to understand the issues very thoroughly, and that’s why this book will be enormously valuable, in stimulating thought and stimulating debate around that.
The start of a State of the Region dialogue
The main area for discussion and debate on Fit for the Future? will be at our conference on 20th October in Sutton Coldfield.
At the conference, delegates will be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised in the book, and help inform the development of the new regional strategy.
Photos from the launch event
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Can’t see the slideshow above? View photos on flickr
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