WMCA Inclusive Growth Unit

Localise West Midlands has been commissioned by the WMCA Inclusive Growth Unit, with funding from Barrow Cadbury Trust, to bring civil society organisations together to explore the big questions for civil society:

  1. What does inclusive economic growth look like in the West Midlands?
  2. What is blocking it – and what is enabling it?
  3. How will it be delivered?

The answers to these questions will feed into the vision and draft strategy for inclusive growth in the West Midlands, into the burgeoning ‘local industrial strategy’, and into other West Midlands Combined Authority business such as the Forum for Growth conference.

We would like to agree a vision and recommend a few immediate actions that can demonstrate how civil society can deliver new models of economic growth that will truly transfer the benefit of economic growth to individuals and communities equally across the West Midlands

We will also ensure that a model for ongoing civil society engagement emerges from this work.

We need to do all this by the end of November 2018.  We will bring forward interim conclusions to feed into the Local Industrial Strategy at an appropriate time to be identified by WMCA.

There are a number of ways for Civil Society Organisations  get involved, please see below.

You are invited to join the debate and influence the Inclusive Growth Agenda:

  • Join the WMCA Inclusive Growth online discussion group – https://groups.google.com/d/forum/wmca-ig (click on “apply for membership”)
  • Respond to our survey – (Once you have completed the first page, you can freely scroll backwards and forwards.  Once you have completed the final question the survey will be submitted and you will not be able to use the code again on the same computer)   https://surveyhero.com/c/b15a0a7c
  • Discuss our questions in one of your meetings and send your thoughts by 31 October 2018 
  • Send us information
  • Attend a one of our drop-in consultation sessions (please book to let us know approx numbers):
    • Day (drop-in) session, Coventry on 29th Oct 10am – 4pm, at Coventry Council House – book here. (NB you do not need to be there for the whole session)
    • Day (drop-in) session, Bilston on 1st Nov 10am – 4pm at Bilston People’s Centre: book here. (NB you do not need to be there for the whole session)
    • Evening workshop, Birmingham on Tuesday 13th November 6pm – 7.30pm, at The Warehouse, Allison Street, Digbeth. B5. Book here.
  • Ask us for a meeting

Contact us by phone and email – 07971 249858; rosemary@localisewestmidlands.org.uk;

This work is supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust


A path to an inclusive economy in the West Midlands

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Inclusive Growth Unit has been set up to make sure economic growth gives more equal benefit geographically and socially than currently happens i.e. to ensure it becomes central to the WMCA model of inclusive economic growth that is supports active reduction of inequalities through redefining value in ways other than GVA. .

Localise West Midlands has been appointed to lead on a task and finish consultation with Civil Society Organisations, running between August and November 2018.  The consultation will inform a set of recommendations on strategic principles for Inclusive Growth and specific project activities for the WMCA to take forward in its Local Industrial Strategy and Strategic Investment Delivery Plan.

To help with preparation of briefings and workshop/discussion materials Civil Society Organisations are invited to send in responses to the 8 questions below. Responses can be from you as a representative of your organisation or can be discussed at any internal or network meetings you already have in your diary.  Your responses to any or all of the questions are really valuable so please enter your contact details on the first page (required to help transparency of the consultation) which will allow you to then move backwards and forwards between the questions at will before you decide to submit.

The deadline is 31 October 2018 but any responses by 20 September can be fed into the workshops and interim briefings which will take place in September and October.

Some ideas and discussion points on the inclusive economy agenda can be found here http://localisewestmidlands.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/WMCA-and-Inclusive-Growth-July-2018.pptx

Please enter your contact details: *  

First and last name

Civil Society Organisation

Postal code

Phone number

Email address 

Would you like to received a summary report of the responses to this survey by email? *




The WMCA defines inclusive growth as follows:

“Inclusive growth is about a more deliberate and socially purposeful model of economic growth – measured not only by how fast or aggressive it is; but also by how well it is shared across the whole population and place.”

Achieving inclusive growth means that more people need to feel the benefits – in terms of:

  • Participation (e.g. creating more ‘good’ jobs, helping people move up the career ladder, feeling dignity in work, participating fully in the economic and social life of the West Midlands);
  • Distribution (e.g. making sure the benefits of growth are spread – that marginalised communities benefit, and that structural barriers to economic progress are deliberately addressed and broken down)
  • Investment (e.g. encouraging money to be invested where it will have a strong social impact, and in areas that might realise a slower but more sustainable return.)

In the West Midlands we are pushing for accelerated inclusive growth that all of our residents can touch, taste and feel the benefits of…”

Q1a. Do you Agree with this definition?

Yes, I agree with this definition

I partially agree with this definition

No, I disagree totally with this definition

Q1b. Further to your answer above. Do you have any comment on this definition? Is it correct or is there anything wrong, missing or that needs to be clarified?


We’re planning to focus on the WMCA’s 4 big ticket areas of economic activity.

Skills & Employment

Addressing inequalities in the distribution of employment, skills, job quality and security.

Living Standards

Addressing inequalities of wealth, income, health and quality of life.


Broadening asset ownership and opportunities for business and enterprise.

Local Capacity

Increasing capacity of local leaders to work together in a shared vision for their place.

Q2a. Are these the right things to focus on?



Q2b. Can you think of other areas we might focus on to enable inclusive growth

Q2c. Thinking of the WMCA’s 4 big ticket areas of economic activity listed above. Please score how important you think each area is on a scale of  1- 5

1 being not important at all and 5 being very important

1          2          3          4          5

Skills & Employment

Living Standards


Local Capacity                        


Q3a. In our recommendations to the WMCA should we consider and emphasise particular any specific sectors that we think offer the most immediate opportunities for an inclusive economy?



Do you have any further comments?

Q3b. The categories below are typically used in economic growth strategies and reporting.

Please shortlist the top five economic sectors which you think offer the most immediate opportunities for Inclusive Growth?  (change to allow up to 5 choices to be made)

Low-Med Tech Manufacturing

Food, beverages & tobacco :: Metal, plastic and non-metal mineral products :: Other manufacturing :: Shipbuilding

High- Med Tech Manufacturing
Chemicals :: ICT & Precision Instruments :: Automotive
Aerospace :: Machinery,  Electrical & Transport :: Equipment :: Pharmaceuticals

Other Production
Agriculture :: Mining & Quarrying :: Utilities :: Construction

Knowledge Services
Communications :: Digital, Creative & Information Services :: Financial Services :: Business Services :: Research & Development :: Education

Other Services
Hotels & Restaurant :: Retail :: Transport, Storage and :: Distribution :: Real Estate :: Administrative & Support Services :: Public Administration & Defence :: Health & Social Care :: Community, Social & Personal Services

Q3c. What else should be included?


We are interested in understanding barriers to an inclusive economy and how these could be overcome.

Q4a. What do you consider to be the main barriers to Inclusive Growth?

Q4b. How do these barriers manifest themselves – please give examples based on situations that you know about from personal experience or observation.

Q4c. Were the barriers you identify systemic?  i.e. a consequence of ‘business as usual’?

Q4d. Can you suggest ways that systemic barriers can be overcome to get more certainty of successful Inclusive Growth outcomes?  What would need to change?


Who has a role in making this economic change happen?

Civil society is defined as the aggregate of individuals and organisations that manifests the will and interests of citizens and exists in addition to government and business.

Q5a. What is the role of civil society in making economic inclusion happen?

Q5b.  How can power be shared between civil society and WMCA and its business partners?


If you were the Mayor what 3 things would you focus on to achieve an inclusive economy?

Do you have any further comments?


To give confidence and inspiration that inclusive economic approaches can deliver more than a business as usual approach, we are aiming to propose a list of costed demonstrator projects.  To help us with project definition we would like to understand more about what has already worked.

Please suggest up to 3 places as examples which evidence Inclusive Growth in the WMCA area (current or historic).  These may be places where there is already energy around the Inclusive Growth agenda, where we can propose additional investment and support.

For example, there is work going on around the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital to create and strengthen local enterprises to meet the needs of its staff, patients and supply chains, making sure the local economy truly benefits from the development.

Name of project, project contact, Local Authority.


Civil Society Organisations are invited through this piece of work to discuss Inclusive Growth and make proposals to the West Midlands Combined Authority to make something happen.

Please let us know how you would you like to be involved.  There is an honorarium for organisations who would otherwise struggle to cover travel and time costs to attend a workshop.

Please let us know how you would you like to be involved.

You can select multiple options.

Attend a workshop (Birmingham)

Call in at a drop-in session (Coventry or Black Country)

By phone

By email

Send in responses resulting from your planned internal/network meetings (no need to take time out to join a scheduled workshop). We can provide an introductory briefing or you can invite us to attend in person.