Britain's workshop hammers out record economic growth

Earlier this year, the West Midlands was hailed as the most valuable region in the UK economy. Between 2015 and 2017, Birmingham and the surrounding areas generated more growth than any other part of the UK, according to Lloyds Bank.

Once called the “workshop of the world”, this industrial heartland is still home to many innovative manufacturing firms. But the West Midlands has also developed strong technology, creative and digital sectors.

As we launch our Backing Business Ambition tour - a search to uncover Britain’s most inspiring and ambitious businesses - this hive of activity makes the West Midlands a natural starting point.

The advantages of being based here are clear. It is centrally located, close to several top universities, and in possession of a robust supply chain. And with Andy Street, previously managing director of John Lewis, now championing the West Midlands in government as the region’s Mayor, its prospects for growth look set to continue.

Ambitious midmarket firms in this region account for much of the innovation, export prowess and job creation. Four such firms are RDM, Titania, Mercato, and the NEC Group, which have all become market leaders in their respective industries.

One common thread that unites them all is their ability to turn challenge into opportunity: turning the skills shortages in their sectors to their advantage, for example.

Despite pressures arising from Brexit and political upheaval, these firms attest to the continuing resilience and vibrancy of the West Midlands.

Throughout 2017 we are searching the entrepreneurial heartlands of England, Scotland and Wales to uncover and showcase Britain’s most inspiring and ambitious businesses. To keep up to date with the tour please visit

Backing Business Ambition 2017