Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) learning across the West Midlands has been given a major boost after a charitable trust issued more than £410,000 of grant funding.

Grants of up to £20,000 from the Millennium Point Charitable Trust’s Small Grants Programme have been issued to 34 schools, charities and not-for-profit organisations in a bid to impact how STEM is perceived and promoted in the region.

Over recent years, several reports have been published identifying Birmingham and the West Midlands as the centre for Science and Innovation outside of London, marking STEM as the key to economic growth in the region.

However, the nationwide STEM skills gap means that the region currently has a shortfall of 173,000 skilled workers as 89% of STEM businesses struggle to recruit with a majority of high skilled roles being left unfulfilled.

Abigail Vlahakis, Interim CEO at Millennium Point said: “2018/19 marked an incredibly successful first year for our Small Grants Program and we are delighted to hear that our recipients are starting to put their money to good use.

“From early child development in schools to business development and community engagement, we are aiming to make a positive, tangible impact across the West Midlands in how STEM is perceived and promoted. We are looking forward to working with this year’s recipients as they make the most of their grant funding and of course, we are excited to see the results of their work.”

Profits from its commercial activity are invested through the Millennium Point Charitable Trust into projects, events and initiatives which support the growth and development of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and education in the West Midlands region.

Abigail added: “Our charitable outputs are determined by our commercial profits, which means the more businesses spend money with us, whether it’s through our venue or our retail spaces, the more we can make a positive impact on the region.”