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Praise for West Midlands business

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Speaking to the West Midlands Business Council today, energy and climate change minister, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath expressed his admiration for the positive way the West Midlands business sector had faced the challenges of the recession. He pledged the government would continue to do everything it could to insure a reliable, cost effective energy supply for business:

"We recognise the importance of secure, reliable and affordable energy supplies for business, particularly in these tough economic times. The recent fall in energy prices is good news for business and we are looking at making sure that businesses, large and small can feel the benefits of that and get secure energy contracts in place for the future."

He also talked about the opportunities the growing low carbon sector is already providing in the West Midlands: "The West Midlands is already taking on the challenge of climate change. It's low carbon sector accounts for some £8.4 billion of the region's economy, comprising 4,179 companies with around 74,000 employees. Despite the economic downturn the sector is expected to grow by around 4% in the next year and employment in green industries by up to 45% to 2015."

"The UK's Low Carbon Transition Plan puts in place a roadmap to build on this strong foundation to put us in a prime position to take advantage of these opportunities. I have no doubt that the West Midlands, as a hub for advanced green manufacture, innovation and transport, will play a key role."

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