Business plan marks significant point in EEH’s history

June 23rd 2022

England’s Economic Heartland is moving into the next phase in its history after publishing its business plan for the next three years.

The plan set outs how EEH will evolve its focus and capability to become a unit that not only sets the strategy and identifies investment priorities for the region. From 2022/23, EEH will also play a proactive role in progressing the case for individual schemes, while supporting local authority partners with the capacity to do the same for their own projects.

Based on the indicative funding from DfT, nearly £1 million will be allocated by EEH to supporting the development of strategic outline business cases by 2025 when the plan concludes.

At the same time, during 2022 EEH will develop its proof of concept for a ‘centre of excellence’ which will support local authorities on their individual early scheme development. Following the trial, EEH will look to secure additional funding to realise the proposal for a centre of excellence in full.

Other work priorities in the three-year plan demonstrates how EEH will:

  • Significantly upgrade its evidence base while continuing to ensure it is accessible and free to use by all partners in the region
  • Shape the national agenda on the need for localised, place based approaches to planning connectivity and cutting emissions
  • Produce a robust regional investment pipeline based on its technical work, including the programme of connectivity studies which will complete by 2025
  • Help realise an integrated transport system with active travel and public transport at its heart
  • Strengthen engagement with the Heartland’s world class innovators to harness their expertise and trial new solutions within the region.

Chair of England’s Economic Heartland, Cllr Richard Wenham, said: “This three-year business plan marks a significant point in England’s Economic Heartland’s history. For the first time, EEH is able to produce a plan for the longer term thanks to the confidence the Department of Transport has placed in us by indicating its level of funding over the next three years.

“Our core values will remain just as true over the next three years as at the time of our inception in 2015. We will continue to be collaborative and transparent; ambitious and evidence led; and operating at a scale which provides tangible benefit for the region.”

England’s Economic Heartland has also published its annual report for 2021-2022. Alongside progress on work being carried out by EEH, the annual report details the significant organisational changes made over the last year, including Cllr Wenham becoming chair and Naomi Green being appointed managing director.