ACE facilitated two events, in partnership with Midlands Connect, to explore enhancing connectivity across the region on 6 September 2018.
Held at the Lloyds Bank Advanced Manufacturing facility, a breakfast briefing kicked things off with Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect, presenting her ideas for better transport links in the region to realise the true potential for the "Midlands Engine".
Following this, an all day workshop was held. Bringing together select participants, the session aimed to bring out tangible initiatives and progress the regional agenda. The day focused on how better interconnectivity could help in terms of regional housing, transport, procurement and the environment.
Key themes explored the role of SME’s in driving interconnectivity, the barriers to and benefits of smart procurement, and data usage, collection and collaboration.
Attendees agreed the following action points:
- Local authorities should be encouraged to have better procurement systems to avoid cheapest cost versus value, incentivising the supply of quality services.
- More transparency should be encouraged in regional partnerships, for example between Midlands Connect, local authorities and regional transport consortium.
- A better regional identity for the Midlands should be encouraged.
There were also some recommendations for ACE to:
- Explore the potential in coordinating data sharing, encourage the establishment of common formats.
- Facilitate additional workshops in the region.
ACE’s regional group will take these points on board to help shape their local engagement and activity over the coming months. If you are a member based in the region, and would like to be further involved, please contact Mimi Tambi at ACE.
Our thanks to sponsors for the day’s events, Waterman who supported the breakfast briefing and Geo-Environmental Services Limited (GESL) who supported the workshop.
For more on the day, read the thoughts of Mike Brown of GESL on our blog.