Wednesday 20 March 2019

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26 February 2014

Taking the Fast Track to Growth!

Representatives from rail engineering firms, universities, local enterprise partnerships and councils gathered in Derby today to discuss how to use millions of pounds worth of EU funding to boost the rail sector across the Midlands.

The event follows the publication of a major report on the future of EU funding published by East Midlands Councils earlier this year. 

‘Meeting Need/Realising Opportunity’ was developed with support from the Nottingham Business School and the European Regional Development Fund.   It sets out an economic case for Europe to invest in the East Midlands over the period 2014-20, and highlights a number of key sectors where EU investment could make a significant difference to both the local and national economies – including the region’s cluster of world class rail companies. 

From 2014 responsibility for allocating most EU funding will pass from Central Government to Local Enterprise Partnerships.  

Colin Flack, Chief Executive of the Rail Alliance, who chaired today’s event said:  “The rail sector supply chain stretches across the East and West Midlands. We need to encourage linkages between companies, universities and LEPs across both regions to maximize the economic potential of sector.”

Cllr Jon Collins, Chair of East Midlands Councils said:  “We need to make sure that we use the next round of EU funding to develop strategic projects which will boost productivity and job growth, particularly in key sectors where the East Midlands has a competitive advantage.   Today’s event is an important opportunity to start developing the partnerships and projects that can help us do this.”

Peter Richardson, Chair of D2N2 LEP said: “The rail sector is a key strength of the D2N2 area and will be strongly reflected in our Strategic Economic Plan.  The recent Government decision to award the Crossrail contract to Bombardier is a huge vote of confidence in our future and securing this project is great news for city, the company and the local supply chain. But we must recognise there is no room for complacency. We must continue to innovate to remain successful.”

Michelle Craven Faulkner, Vice Chair of the Derby & Derbyshire Rail Forum said:  “This year we are celebrating 175 years of the railways in Derby – but this event is very much about the future. We must work together to build on our recent successes and ensure that that we retain and develop our competitive advantage.”

This press release can also be downloaded


For further information please contact:

Andrew Pritchard, Director of Policy & Infrastructure, East Midlands Councils

Tel: 01664 502620. Mobile 07795 060943


All news releases can be viewed on our website at

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