Birmingham & Black Country

LEP and John Lewis' boss Andy Street says 100,000 jobs on target

Chairman Andy Street
Image caption Andy Street said he recognised 100,000 was a high figure

The chairman of one of the West Midlands' Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) says the body is on course is to create 100,000 jobs by 2020.

The Birmingham and Solihull LEP is one of 38 created last year across England aimed at increasing economic growth.

Chairman Andy Street, who is also managing director of John Lewis, said a focus for that growth would be in Birmingham city centre.

He said the jobs figure was ambitious but that was "a good thing".

The LEP is made up of areas including East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, Redditch and Wyre Forest.

The LEP bid successfully for the city centre to be designated a Local Enterprise Zone, which means streamlined planning regulations, improved broadband access and other incentives.

Mr Street told the BBC's Politics Show West Midlands: "We decided to go for the city centre because that is the quickest way of achieving economic growth.

"We have talked about 100,000 new jobs by 2020 and obviously that is really ambitious but ambition is a good thing.

"It's a word I am proud to be associated with in business and the approach we want to take with the LEP."

The John Lewis chain is currently building its biggest store outside of London, which will be the centrepiece of the New Street Station redevelopment, set to open in 2015.

More on this story