I love Wolverhampton. This is a great city, but it has been left behind for many decades. I want everyone to benefit from my plan to level up opportunities and unleash our fantastic city’s potential. We are improving public services, developing better infrastructure, and backing local business. We are also delivering better employment and training opportunities for people of all ages, ensuring that disabled people are supported, and helping people to have a good retirement.
Regenerating our Economy
- After a challenging year, plans are well underway to ensure that Wolverhampton can enjoy a great summer in 2021. We will benefit from targeted, hands-on support from the Government’s High Streets Task Force, an elite team of high street experts who will advise on how to adapt to meet changing consumer demands so they can thrive in the years ahead. Our £56 million Welcome Back Fund gives every city, town, and high street support to prepare for a great summer. This will help councils and businesses welcome shoppers, diners, and tourists back safely. Wolverhampton has been allocated £234,488 of this.
- As a local MP, I have also served as a member of the Towns Fund Board, a consortium of elected leaders, local businesses, and key partners which identified priorities for our city and proposed projects which can deliver on them. We secured £25 million to fund these projects, with an extra £1 million secured a year before and £15 from the Future High Streets Fund. This will help revitalise local commercial areas and high streets and supporting transformative projects such as the City Learning Quarter, the National Brownfield Institute, Wolves at Work employability scheme, and the Grand Theatre's expansion. You can find further details about investment we've secured here.
- The Government has announced a £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund to enhance infrastructure and connectivity, a £220 million Community Renewal Fund to help people across the UK benefit from new support for local communities, skills and jobs, and a new £150 million Community Ownership Fund to ensure that communities across then whole of the UK can buy local assets such as pubs, sports clubs, and theatres.
Levelling up in Wolverhampton
- In Parliament, I directly asked the Prime Minister Boris Johnson whether he will make a firm recommitment to reach into some of the most deprived areas and level up the country. I am pleased that the Prime Minister accepted my request and confirmed that Wolverhampton will benefit from around £217 million of the growth deal funding across the Black Country. This aims to create 5,000 jobs and 1,400 new homes.
- The Government has also positively responded to my request to move part of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to our area and hold part of the Commonwealth Games in our great city.
- Our small businesses need our support more than ever. Whether it is in-person or online, I want to encourage everyone to help make a difference to local trade and to #shoplocal. Positive reviews and word of mouth help too, so make sure to share what your favourite local shops are with others. I have been working with businesses and the Government to ensure that they are supported.
- If every working adult in Wolverhampton spent £5 a week extra with local businesses, it would boost the local economy by £780,000 a week.
- I am supporting the 'Shop Local' campaign which aims to support our city's local shops and businesses by showcasing their details for free. It is being led by the local Business Improvement Districts and the City of Wolverhampton Council. Businesses who would like their details to be listed can sign up here. Businesses listed on this website will have confirmed that they are operating in line with the latest Government guidelines.
- I am pleased to promote the Big Village Giveaway, a campaign being led by business owners in Tettenhall to raise funds for Compton Care. Read more information about how to take part in this prize raffle and other activities at https://www.facebook.com/thebigvillagegiveaway/
Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, the Government has provided more than £280 billion to support lives and livelihoods.
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has now been extended until the end of March and continues to support 2,900 jobs in the constituency of Wolverhampton South West.
- Grants for the self-employed, which have been made more generous in light of recent national and local lockdown announcements, and which have benefitted 5,400 people in Wolverhampton South West.
- Loans and Government-backed grants which have helped businesses facing severely reduced income because of pandemic.
- VAT cuts and business rates holidays for many small businesses, including those in the hospitality and retail sectors.
I have also been keeping my business support page up-to-date with the latest information, and I have been raising any specific cases with the Government. Please contact me if you require any specific assistance.