The City of Birmingham is at the centre of the West Midlands region which incorporates the five counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire. All have a strong rural identity compared to the metropolitan area.
The European policy framework for the region is set out in the regional European Strategy with the following priorities:
• Engaging with the Single Market
• Engaging with Europe’s Research & Innovation Agenda
• Tackling Climate Change and ensuring Environmental Protection
• The Social Cohesion Dimension
Challenges and issues
80% of the West Midlands region is “rural” with 35% of the population living in rural areas. Most people living within the rural parts of the region have strong links with the main urban conurbation or one of the market towns which form an outer ring beyond the Birmingham conurbation. Whilst wages in the rural areas are lower than average there is a good level of entrepreneurship and small business culture. 1 in 5 people in rural areas lives in financial poverty. The average age of the population is rising which has impact on provision of services and there is need to find more job opportunities to retain young persons in the more rural parts of the region.
The challenges we seek to address are:
• Regeneration of the rural economy
• Sustainable land management recognising changing agricultural practices
• Access to services for all citizens
• The development of sustainable communities recognising demographic trends
Why be a member of PURPLE?
The West Midlands is looking to achieve better performance through engaging in exchanges of experience, knowledge and best practice with European regions with similar peri-urban characteristics.
Projects linked to PURPLE
The West Midlands is looking to develop projects under Horizon 2020F, INTERREG, LIFE, and the Erasmus Plus Programmes.
Topics and issues for such projects where partners within PURPLE are sought can be around themes such as:
Photo: Telford town centre aerial view
|Agriculture land use:||70%, plus 8% forestry|
|Arable land:||41 %|
|Main economic activities:||Manufacturing, tourism, public sector, construction, agri-food and transport technology. West Midlands has developed clusters around these sectors.|
|Main agricultural products:||Horticulture, livestock and livestock products|
Last updated: 16 April, 2020
Land use map - peri-urban West Midlands
Cllr Mark Winnington, Vice President of PURPLE
Cllr Philip Atkins
Stafford, ST16 2LH
Member of the PURPLE Working Group:
Nicola Swinnerton, Rural Development and Access Manager, Nicola.email@example.com
Staffordshire County Council,
No. 1 Staffordshire Place, c/o Wedgwood Building,
Block A, Tipping Street, Stafford, ST16 2DH
Westons cider factory
Hereford cathedral and the river Wye
Clun village in Shropshire