Midlands Engine and Geospatial Commission to work together to use technology to find regional investment opportunities
The government is putting £1.5m behind a project to create a “digital map” of the Midlands, to help “identify the best investment and regeneration opportunities across the area”.
The map will be created by government’s recently created Geospatial Commission, working alongside the Midlands Engine – a regional coalition of local authorities, universities, and Local Enterprise Partnerships. Public- and private-sector data on areas such as infrastructure, housing, and services will be used to build the map.
“Bringing this information about the Midlands together in one place for the first time will allow for better, faster, and more informed decisions around health, education, housing, trade, and tourism,” the government said.
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By seeing each other’s planned developments, entities such as housebuilders, local councils, and connectivity providers will be better able to plan where to target their own investments, the government believes.
Midlands Engine chairman Sir John Peace said: “At the Midlands Engine we have committed to supporting the build of 600,000 new homes in the next 15 years. This is an ambitious target and the tool will support local authorities by giving them the information that they need to identify suitable development sites and work in a more joined-up way. The mapping tool will also allow faster and more informed decisions with ready access to maps of utilities, surgeries, and educational establishments.”
Minister for implementation Oliver Dowden added: “This project will further cement the UK’s place as a geospatial world leader, once again showing our commitment to providing more opportunities for tech companies to flourish, including small businesses.”