Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone has received another vote of confidence from the Government.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has agreed to contribute £15,000 to a £25,000 expert study to ensure Ceramic Valley development is tailored to the needs of business, enabling the speedy delivery of jobs and growth. The remaining £10,000 is being contributed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
The study will provide an overview of trends in the local and regional economy, investigate commercial property demand and supply across the region and identify any barriers to investment and development.
The aim is to use this live and relevant business intelligence to develop the strategic sites in the Enterprise Zone to best meet the needs of industry and commerce and raise the profile of Ceramic Valley nationally and internationally through effective marketing.
The Ceramic Valley is one of only 44 Enterprise Zones across the country and is designed to accelerate growth across a range of employment sectors, including advanced manufacturing. It comprises four million square feet of commercial floor space – the equivalent of 250 football pitches – and has the potential for 9,000 jobs. The zone covers six key sites along the A500 corridor – five of which are in Stoke-on-Trent and one in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership board member Jonathan Dale, who leads on business growth and innovation, said: “We are delighted to receive Government support to ensure that Ceramic Valley is in the strongest position to bring more and better jobs to our area.
“We have a great opportunity to build on our established strengths in areas such as ceramics and manufacturing by promoting new developments at these superb and well-connected sites. This study will help us to make sure the sites are just what prospective investors are looking for, and to raise the profile of Ceramic Valley around the world.”
Councillor Abi Brown, deputy leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “This is another step in the right direction for the Enterprise Zone, which has already secured 1,000 jobs in its first year with another 8,000 to come. We have built up a huge momentum on a regional, national and international scale and the interest we have received shows that confidence is growing in our local economy.
“Development at the Enterprise Zone is already evident, with two developments completed, construction currently taking place on a further two and several planning applications in the pipeline. Everyone involved in the project is rightly very excited for what the next 12 months will bring.”