David Frost CBE has been reappointed for a second three-year term as Chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), a post he has held since 2014.
David Frost said the LEP had already achieved significant milestones in bringing jobs and investment to Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, and he was looking forward to steering the organisation to further successes in shaping local economic growth.
“Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire has great things going for it as an area to live, work and invest – particularly its pivotal location at the centre of the country, its track record of innovation and creativity and its can-do attitude,” he said.
“The LEP has proved itself as a constructive and proactive partner for investors and businesses and we are now in an exciting period where we are seeing our plans and investments translating into business growth and more and better jobs for local people.
“This is a great time to be leading the LEP and driving our forward our ambitions for a thriving economy and flourishing local communities.
“However there is still much to do. We have to help steer this economy through the Brexit negotiations and we have to ensure that the LEP reaches out to local communities across the whole of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.”
David Frost is a former Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, representing the interests of 100,000 businesses across the nation. He was awarded a CBE for services to business and went on to chair the LEP Network, representing the 38 LEPs across England
The LEP is providing more than £147m of investment over the period to 2021 in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. This includes putting in the infrastructure to open up employment and housing sites, new education and training facilities, and support for business growth. Further contributions from government, local authorities, colleges and the private sector will bring the grand total being invested in the area to some £315m.
Key development sites include flagship Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, comprising six strategic sites along the A500, with Meaford, near Stone; Branston Locks, near Burton; Liberty Park, Lichfield; and Four Ashes and Featherstone in South Staffordshire also featuring in the LEP’s portfolio. The LEP is also investing in the Stafford Western Access Road, which will open up development sites and relive traffic congestion around Stafford station, and in a package of town and city centre improvements from Stoke-on-Trent to Tamworth.
Its skills investments include nearly £7m in funding for advanced manufacturing and engineering (AME) hubs at colleges across the area, including the new AgriSTEM Academy at South Staffordshire College, Rodbaston, and the AME hub currently being built at Stafford College.