Climb Project – A New Pathway for Jobs and Growth


As the economic landscape continues to look bleak, and long term unemployment continues to rise, today I’m outlining my plan to get people in the Northfield area back into work. Named “The Climb Project”, the initiative aims to develop a new economic vision for the area and drive action on jobs and growth today.

It’s shocking that there are 295 young people in the Northfield area who have been without a job for over a year. In 2009 there were 20. As last week’s Spending Review showed that the Government is failing to provide the growth and investment we so urgently need, I’m launching a new project to make a difference locally now.

Over the past few months I have been speaking to local people and businesses over the about how to tackle the jobs crisis. There are some great new economic developments and educational initiatives emerging in Birmingham – but unfortunately they are failing to meet the needs of our particular area.

Birmingham’s Green Hills

I’ve heard strong consensus that we need a new economic vision and identity. It will build on our unique industrial heritage, leverage our strategic position – bridging the city centre with Birmingham’s Lickey, Waseley and Clent “Green Hills” – and take us into the future with sectors such as advanced manufacturing, digital innovation, and the design and creative industries.

We have huge potential – the £1 billion redevelopment project at Longbridge, Higher Education institutions such as Bournville College and community projects such as the Northfield Business Improvement District and Town Centre Partnership are all just the beginning of our economic revival.

Partnerships for Growth

The foundation of the Climb Project is a new local multi-sectoral partnership that will unite local businesses from all sectors with community groups and elected representatives. This partnership will create a compelling vision for the local economy to attract new investment and jobs.

 The public focus of the Climb Project is set to be a jobs fair in the autumn that will bring employers and jobseekers together to explore opportunities in the area. The project will also link strongly to community and voluntary activity – a crucial part of the picture.

The partnership’s first planning meeting will be held in late July. I’m pleased to already have the support of important partners such as the City Council, Bournville College and innovative local businesses like Mechatronic Solutions in the project. I know that by working together we can build aspiration and prosperity in the area, and begin a new climb to the future.

For more information click here. And if you are a business interested in the partnership and planning meeting then please do get in touch.

Lickey Hills 3

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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