The West Midlands region lies right at the heart of England and covers an area of over 13000km². It is the country’s manufacturing and agricultural heartland and lies at the hub of the national transport network. 80% of the region is rural yet the area is dominated by the Birmingham conurbation. Over 5 million people live here but only 20% in our rural areas.
The West Midlands is home to many unique historic, educational, entertaining and thrilling attractions. These include Shakespeare's birthplace at Stratford-Upon-avon, Alton Towers and Drayton Manor theme parks, Ironbridge World Heritage Site and Cadbury World.
Although the Birmingham conurbation dominates the region it includes the county towns of Hereford, Worcester, Stafford, Warwick and Shrewsbury. It also has the economic centres of Wolverhampton, Telford and Stoke on Trent.
Despite two recessions, manufacturing still accounts for over 20% of the total employment in the region and over the last decade we have experienced real economic growth.
The people of the West Midlands have shaped the region’s natural features to create a rich diversity of landscapes, unique in character both physically and culturally.
The communities of the rural West Midlands are going through great change and face significant challenges. In the last ten years the population of rural areas of the West Midlands has grown and its social composition has changed as older people moved in and young people migrated to urban centres.