Walsall’s economic strategy and action plan

Developing a framework for recovery, growth, and resilience


Creating a transformative Economic Strategy and Action Plan to drive growth and address challenges

Located to the northwest of Birmingham, Walsall comprises a vibrant mix of urban, suburban, and semi-rural communities. It is a culturally diverse town with a significant population of South Asian heritage.

Walsall has a resilient economy, with an annual output of £4.9 billion in 2019 and 100,000 jobs in 2021. However, the region faces challenges related to low skills, unemployment, and deprivation, with GVA per head below the UK average.

Urban Foresight was commissioned to develop a new Economic Strategy and Action Plan to meet the evolving needs of the town over the next decade.

We worked closely with Walsall Borough Council and local partners to align objectives and gather valuable insights. This included understanding the pulse of Walsall’s economy and aspirations by engaging with local businesses, community representatives, and industry leaders.

Our team conducted in-depth analysis, examined performance indicators, and assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the region. We also reviewed the changing economic and policy landscape. This included factors such as the impact of Covid-19, the UK’s exit from the EU, and emerging concerns over inflation and fuel costs. It also considered the impact of new policy frameworks, such as the Levelling Up agenda and the Shared Prosperity fund.

We developed an economic strategy and action plan that outlined a clear framework for recovery, growth, and resilience. It defined comprehensive actions and interventions that were focused on priority sectors, skills development, employment, and the regeneration of brownfield sites. Our recommendations were designed to maximise economic impact, support inclusivity, and ensure a strong return on investment.

Our findings were presented to key council committees and boards, ensuring that recommendations reached the decision-makers who could drive change.