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Local business and council leaders across the Midlands will receive up to £1.5 million to pioneer cutting-edge technology to identify the best investment and regeneration opportunities across the area.

The Midlands Engine Partnership, in collaboration with the Geospatial Commission, will use the funding to develop a digital map of the region combining vast amounts of existing public and private sector data linked to location – covering infrastructure, local services, housing and other developments.

Bringing this information about the Midlands together in one place for the first time will allow for better, faster and more informed decisions around health, education, housing, trade and tourism.

The move will help create jobs, benefit the local economy and increase productivity. For example, land earmarked for housebuilding could be identified by other sectors as an opportunity to invest in developing nearby public assets, such as a school or office complex, as well as installing next-generation technologies, such as 5G connectivity.