Rachel has expressed her desire to see Redditch benefit from the announcement that the West Midlands will become the UK’s first large-scale 5G testbed.

Last week, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport revealed the region had been selected to become the innovative home to the UK’s first multi-city 5G test bed.

The £50million trial of new high-speed connectivity will pave the way for future rollout of 5G across the country, making the region the first in the UK ready to trial new 5G applications and services at scale.

Following its selection through open competition, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will now work with the 5G Testbeds and Trials Team at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and industry partners on preparing the formal business case for approval, with the first of a series of projects expected to go live early next year.

The West Midlands Combined Authorities bid has an initial focus on the health, construction and automotive sectors, with its overarching ambition to help drive economic growth and benefit people’s lives through participation in new digital technologies and digitally transformed public services.

As Redditch is a non-constituent member of the WMCA, Rachel will be working with local council leaders, the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street and the Government to see how Redditch can benefit from the 5G testbed.

Rachel said: “The West Midlands is already an innovative and vibrant region of the UK and this announcement will once again put our region at the forefront of technological development.

“I’d like to congratulate Andy Street and his team on their successful bid. The Government was clearly very impressed with their proposals and I look forward to the launch of this 5G testbed.

“Although our town is not a full member of the WMCA, I still want to see Redditch benefit from the 5G testbed. I look forward to working with Andy, local council leaders and the Government to see what can be done to ensure Redditch reaps the benefits of this exciting development.”