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MiFriendly Cities

Creating innovative Migration Friendly cities in the West Midlands

Strengthening Communities | Welcoming Migration | Leading Innovation

The MiFriendly
Cities Project

“To answer the increasingly complex challenges they face, urban authorities need to go beyond traditional policies and services - they need to be bold and innovative.”
URBAN INNOVATIVE ACTIONS
MiFriendly Cities

What is it that makes a place ‘Migration Friendly’?

For newcomers to any city, it means to be welcomed into new surroundings and given the opportunity to make a meaningful and positive contribution to the community.

In October 2017 the EU’s Urban Innovative Actions fund awarded more than £4m to Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton for the MiFriendly Cities project, a 3-year initiative that will look to develop innovative, community-led and sustainable approaches to enhancing the contribution of refugees and migrants across the region.

By bringing together 11 partner organisations – including the local authorities from each city – the project will deliver an exciting programme of activities designed to create opportunities and to push the boundaries of what has been previously attempted in the EU.

Refugees and migrants have been involved at every step of project development, and with this grassroots approach we hope to see citizens across the community working with local businesses, government, and voluntary organisations to build a MiFriendly region together.

MiFriendly Cities builds on the region’s many recent successes. With Coventry set to become City of Culture in 2021 and Birmingham’s successful bid to host the next Commonwealth Games, the West Midlands has a unique opportunity to become a hub for cultural and economic innovation in Europe.

We aim to...

Develop an innovative approach to migration that can be adopted cities across Europe

Build partnerships between local citizens, civil society, industry and government

Strengthen the social and economic fabric of the West Midlands

The MiFriendly
Approach

“A MiFriendly City should be underpinned by the voices, skills and passion of refugees and migrants, so that all branches of the community are fully invested in its future, and the social and economic fabric of the region is strengthened.”
MiFriendly Cities

With over 100 languages spoken daily within its borders, the West Midlands is the most diverse region in the UK outside of London – and the 2nd most diverse region in Europe – and this diversity brings with it an untapped resource of skills and ideas.

Refugees and migrants have been integral partners in developing this project, helping to decide what it is that makes a ‘Migration Friendly’ city. By taking this bottom-up approach we have been able to build a programme of activities which considers what each city must do in order to achieve MiFriendly status.

The foundations of the project will focus on jobs, skills, citizenship, startups, and long-term community investment. We hope that by working in these areas we can empower our communities to come together and drive change at both city and regional levels.

In a MiFriendly City, everyone is encouraged to become an active citizen, training and employment opportunities are created, and the contribution of refugees and migrants is supported, enhanced and recognised.

The 3-year project will be shaped and developed as it progresses by the communities involved, and we hope that this will create a culture of inclusion and friendliness, with the West Midlands becoming a region in which all of its citizens feel a true sense of belonging.

We want to...

Create a region built upon a spirit of solidarity.

Empower citizens to take the lead in unlocking their city’s assets.

Inspire people across the West Midlands – migrant or not – to want to live and belong in a MiFriendly City.

European Union & Urban Innovative Actions

This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.