LEP Major Projects
Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone
The Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone (CVEZ) has an ambition to provide growth opportunities for modern industries that will provide high quality jobs for local people.
It is expected to facilitate the growth from traditional industries to cutting-edge globally competitive sectors. Industries expected to deliver that growth are: technical ceramics, traditional ceramics, engineering, sustainable-energy, technical and high-end manufacturing.
National and international companies are expressing an interest in the Ceramic Valley, after it was granted granted Enterprise Zone status by government last year.
The zone is a partnership between Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent City councils and is effectively a chain of five enterprise development locations along the A500 corridor.
The six areas in the vally will regenerate over 240 hectares of largely brownfield land, with the potential for over £2.5 billion of investment over the next decade. Enterprise Zone status will help to reduce the costs and barriers to business growth, making the Zone extremely attractive to international investors.
CVEZ is a three-mile long corridor within which are six largely cleared individual sites with over 140 hectares of net developable land, all benefiting from Assisted Area status. The CVEZ programme of activity involves public and private sector investment to open up these sites.
The sites within the CVEZ comprise (from North to South): Tunstall Arrow (pictured above), Chatterley Valley East, Chatterley Valley West, Highgate/Ravensdale, Etruria Valley and Cliffe Vale.
By 2025 it is estimated the CVEZ will deliver net land value uplift equivalent to £39.3 million and approximately 6,700 jobs on site. In total it will comprise of 140 Ha of brownfield land with 308,000 sqm of additional employment floorspace.
Already 790 jobs have been created on site. We have seen significant progress on Tunstall South, which was completed at the end of September 2018. Construction is ongoing on Highgate Ravensdale, Tile Mountain Phase 2 is under construction and the second terrace of five units on the Trade Park is complete.
i54 South Staffordshire Business Park and Enterprise Zone
Local Growth Fund Investment = £0.9m (project promoted by Staffordshire County Council and City of Wolverhampton Council)
More than £1 billion has so far been invested in i54 South Staffordshire, with 2,500 people employed by multi-national companies JLR, Moog, ISP, Eurofins, ERA and Tentec with a further 2,100 jobs anticipated over the next few years.
The latest company has just moved onto the site, Morrisons Site Machinery. Now a major extension is being built over 100 acres – attracting a further £600 million of private investment and delivering up to 1,700 more jobs.
Over 2,700 people work on the current site, with half being held by people living within a 10-mile radius. Furthermore 60 per cent of supply chain businesses for the companies on site are from within 30mile radius which is excellent news for the local economy.
The business park is unique in the region in that it has its own purpose-built motorway junction and also has Enterprise Zone status.
It was developed by a partnership made up of Staffordshire County Council, City of Wolverhampton Council and South Staffordshire Council. The western extension has been financially backed by both the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.
Over 3,500 students have also benefitted from a targeted skills and education programme. Extensive work continues to ensure communities and businesses in Wolverhampton and Staffordshire benefit from the development including: recruitment and apprenticeship programmes and meet the buyer events to promote supply chain opportunities.
i54 and its expansion play an integral part of the Midlands Engine strategy to maximise the economic potential of the area.
The current site is now fully-occupied and work is well under way on the western extension.
Stoke-on-Trent District Heat Network (City Deal)
City Deal Investment = £19.75m (project promoted by Stoke-on-Trent City Council)
The district heat network is a pioneering programme to bring a network of sustainable, low carbon and low cost heat energy to Stoke-on-Trent.
In 2015, the LEP and Stoke-on-Trent City Council were successful in securing £19.75m of City Deal funding to help to deliver the infrastructure for a low carbon District Heat Network (DHN). A DHN is a system of underground pipes that will deliver heat via hot water between an energy centre and the buildings connected to the network.
The scheme will harness heat from low carbon sources such as deep geothermal energy and Energy from Waste (EfW) which will be transferred through a system of heat exchangers into the network. The heat energy from the hot water circulating in the network will be delivered to customers through heat exchangers in their premises.
Initially the heat energy will be supplied to larger commercial and public sector premises. Over time the aim is to connect to a wider variety of premises including blocks of flats and clusters of houses across the city.
Benefits to customers will include:
- No need for traditional boiler(s).
- More efficient energy supply in a directly useable form.
- Reduction on carbon tax.
- Minimal maintenance of the system once installed.
- No risk of carbon monoxide.
In addition to brining economic, social and environmental benefits the scheme benefits of £76.1m and create up to 229 direct jobs. There will also be 550 indirect safeguarded and created jobs valued at a further £63.5m. 10% cost saving for domestic heat customers. Around 400 houses and 578 flats will be taken out of fuel poverty. Up to 12,526 tonnes of CO² per annum saved thanks to the scheme, valued at £2.7m per annum.
The construction of the DHN started ahead of schedule in autumn 2017 and the first section of approximately 2km of pipes is now installed in the University Quarter of the city. This first section will be operational from following successful rigorous testing, allowing for the first customer to be connected.
Temporary heating and pumping equipment will be installed at the site of the energy centre (Squires View) which will be delivered and operational before the end of the year. The emphasis of works in this area will switch to local supply pipes and customer connections whilst planned delivery of the balance of the main will continue working outwards from this first phase. Full network construction works are scheduled to complete around 2021
Keele Smart Energy Network (City Deal)
City Deal Investment = £5m (project promoted by Keele University)
The University of Keele is the largest campus university in the UK, serviced by its own private utility network to support a wide range of business, academic, residential and leisure users.
This mix of uses, ownership of a private network, an established range of renewable energy sources and the scale of the campus, allied to the university’s expertise in sustainability and green technologies, offers a unique opportunity to develop an at-scale demonstrator for smart energy technologies.
The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) is the first of its kind in the UK and will provide a wide range of UK-based organisations with the ability to test and evaluate new technologies (as well as processes and business models) in a live, single-owner environment, by connecting the technologies to a smart energy network and assessing their performance in a range of energy demand scenarios.
This will ultimately play a key role in enabling these developers to take their technologies along the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale through to full commercialisation and sale in global markets.
Evidence from a recent market assessment for SEND also highlights an appetite amongst distributed network operators, aggregators and electricity suppliers to work together on the site in order to develop and test software, processes and to understand product roll-out.
The network will have delivered 440 jobs by 2021 (120 construction, 20 permanent, 300 indirect), in addition to saving 8,731 tonnes CO².
The Horwood Energy Centre houses the SEND Control Room and the Digital Twin, this will allow for research and development of innovative products and/or services to be tested on the twin with real time information and data without any disruption to the network. Sixteen Research Development and Innovation projects have been formed with Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire SME’s; 15 now have graduate researchers appointed and working on new product/process/service development; the remaining one project led by the University of Wolverhampton is currently interviewing for the position. The Supply Chain Development Programme has delivered business/innovation support to 21 SMEs within the SSLEP area, with a strong pipeline for the following months
Stafford Western Access Route (SWAR)
Local Growth Fund Investment = £15.5m (project promoted by Staffordshire County Council)
Work is now under way on the multi-million-pound Stafford Western Access project which will boost growth and ease congestion in the town centre.
It will enable millions of pounds worth of new housing and business development to take place and improve traffic flow in the town centre, particularly by the railway station.
The new road will link the A34 Foregate Street at Madford Retail Park to the A518 Newport Road Castlefields junction. The road will help improve traffic flow in Gaol Square, Newport Road (east of Kingsway), Station Road, Chell Road, A34 Foregate Street (south of the scheme) and Doxey Road.
The road is being funded by developers and with £15.5million secured by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Local Growth Fund. It will support the construction of up to 2,350 houses and the creation of 100 jobs.
The scheme will include improved conditions for bus services, pedestrians and cyclists. There will also be environmental benefits through the redevelopment of areas of derelict land and landscaping along the route.
Work on the scheme got under way in the summer. Over the coming months there will be piling works in the Castletown area and in the Madford Retail Park by Tenpin and Lidl. These piles will support the new road.
A temporary mini roundabout on Doxey Road is now in place. This will provide a safe alternative access while construction takes place. Demolition of the old Saint Gobain building is now taking place to make way for a new roundabout and future development.
Meaford Business Park
Local Growth Fund Investment = £4.2m (project promoted by Staffordshire County Council)
The Local Growth Fund investment has supported the infrastructure works to provide access to business park, working with private sector developer.
These works included building a new roundabout on the A34, improvements to Meaford Road, construction of a new roundabout to provide access to the business park and a 350m road to the first development plot.
With all infrastructure works complete, development is now taking place on site. The Make It inward investment team continues to work in partnership with St Modwen to prioritise the marketing of the site which is seen as a priority for the company. A 37,000 sq ft first unit – the first on site – has now been completed. Proposals for a gas power station are currently under review. A sustainable travel link has been created to the site along the canal path, connecting it with Stone town centre.
Branston Locks, Burton (Phase 1)
Local Growth Fund Investment = £5.09m (project promoted by Staffordshire County Council)
The Branston Locks development will see 400 acres of land immediately west of the A38 developed with 2,500 new homes, a range of community facilities and a 50-acre employment site.
It will also include retail, health, leisure and recreational facilities, as well as provision for older people. A new 1,550 place high school has been built by the county council on land nearby – the first in 25 years – and a new primary school will also be built. The total investment in the area could be over £800million and 3,800 jobs could be created.
The road project has been partly funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund through its Growth Deal with the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Nurton Developments has also made a substantial contribution. The project scooped the Best Large Project award at an annual regional Institute of Highway Engineers event.
It has involved a complete realignment of Branston Road to make it suitable for the volume of traffic created by the new development and construction of a new bridge over the Trent and Mersey Canal. The new bridge has already won an award for its engineering design. Pedestrian and cycle access to the future development and canal tow path have also been created.
All infrastructure works were completed in 2018. The new high school is now open and housebuilding through two developers. There is further interest for the potential delivery of around 200 more homes at the northern end of the site (accessed via Shobnall Road). The main site developer Nurton is exploring future development plans.
Liberty Park, Lichfield
Local Growth Fund Investment = £4m (project promoted by Staffordshire County Council)
Funding has supported infrastructure works to open up business park, working with a private sector developer.
The project unlocks a major 10 ha. allocated employment site identified in the City Deal. It is located in the north of Lichfield immediately adjacent to Lichfield Trent Valley Railway Station which lies on both the West Coast Main and Cross City railway lines.
Work included construction of a new access bridge over the West Coast main railway line, a new roundabout on the A5127/A5192 junction, a new roundabout at the junction of Cappers Way and Europa Way, a new pedestrian crossing on Cappers Way and junction improvements on Cappers Way, Europa Way and Burton Old Road.
Bericote Four Ashes
The site has benefited from new access improvements off the A449 by Staffordshire County Council in a project funded through the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership as part of the Government’s Local Growth Fund.
Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Skills Hub Phase 2
Local Growth Fund Investment = £6.9m (project promoted by Staffordshire County Council)
The AME Hub provides world-class vocational environments with state of the art facilities in local communities linked to key employers, providers, schools and colleges.
This has developed through significant public and private investment in facilities at six spokes, over two phases, requiring a total investment of over £12m of private and public funding.
Each spoke has a lead specialism with world class equipment and train to the latest industry standards. AME Hub Phase 2 completes the final three spokes: South Staffordshire College; Stafford College; and JCB Academy.
The hub provides growth in AME apprenticeships and traineeships. It is also upskilling the current workforce in the sector to improve productivity and upskill and retrain the unemployed and NEET young people in order to gain employment in the sector
The AME hub provides specialist facilities and training to meet employer skills needs. In addition it is promoting careers in the sector and developing a coherent suite of STEM technical vocational and academic progression pathways.
All three AME hub projects are fully completed and operational. The three projects collectively delivered a growth of 1,465 learners and engaged an additional 222 employers.
South Staffordshire College
This project has seen the development of the AgiSTEM Acdamey, operating at the Rodbaston campus (pictured above). This state-of-the-art facility incorporates an advanced mechatronic lab; agricultural engineering and automotive/hybrid engineering workshops and an agritech/precision farming simulation lab.
The facility also includes a performing manufacturing operations(PMO) training/assessment area, CAD/CAM classrooms, multi-occupation construction area and renewables workshop for solar thermal, solar PV, air and ground source heat pump technologies.
Newcastle & Stafford Colleges Group
Operating at the Stafford campus, the project has seen the development of a STEM Centre (pictured above), offering science and engineering facilities alongside a Lego innovation centre.
Operating in Rocester, the project has seen the development of the Dove Engineering Centre, incorporating a engineering science lab, mechatronics training room, CAD training room and metrology lab.
Phase 2 projects have collectively supported 2,931 learners which demonstrated a growth of 1,465 against the learner volumes before the project.
Phase 1 projects have collectively supported 4,500 learners over the last three years and have collectively grown learner numbers by 400 during this period.
Skills Capital Equipment Fund
Local Growth Fund Investment = £2.38m (Staffordshire County Council)
LEP funding is being used to create a £5m skills equipment fund (SEF) to allow local employers and training institutions to bid for funding to purchase state of the art equipment and fund minor adaptations to accommodate the equipment.
Find out how the fund has made a difference at South Staffordshire College’s Cannock campus here.
Find out about how the fund has helped enable Staffordshire University to create its Digital Shed here.
This will enable the delivery of high quality and high level training programmes to support the growth in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s priority economic sectors.
The investment will enable local employers and training institutions to more readily respond to local training needs that support the need for equipment to up skill and reskill people in the LEP priority sectors
The SEF supports the expansion of a work-based talent pool of skills across the priority sectors by facilitating increased demand in apprenticeships and traineeship opportunities following the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.
It supports the upskilling of the existing workforce particularly at levels 3 & 4 and the upskilling and retraining the unemployed and NEET young people to meet current opportunities in the priority sectors. The SEF is helping to develop a network of local providers and employers so that they are able to respond to employer training needs through the use of specialist industry standard equipment.
Round one of the SEF saw a total grant of £1.12m, which was matched by £1.28m from the skills providers – Stoke-on-Trent College, Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG), Staffordshire University and Perkins Engines Ltd in Stafford.
Round two has seen three grants awarded, totalling £1.2m with a match of £1.22m. These projects are being delivered by Stoke-on-Trent College, NSCG and South Staffordshire College.
Keele Science & Innovation Park Smart Innovation Hub
Local Growth Fund Investment = £1m (Keele University)
The Smart Innovation Hub offers a collaborative working environment which blends Keele’s knowledgeable staff, talented students and expert academics with local business leaders and entrepreneurs, thanks to the Hub’s unique co-location alongside the University’s Business School.
Offering 7,500ft2 of lettable modern workspace comprising of private offices, shared spaces and co-working environments, the Smart Innovation Hub has been designed to support the creation and growth of innovation-led businesses, alongside major new facilities that will enable the University to grow its established programme of collaborative research, development and innovation support to local enterprises.
The Keele Business School is now operating from the building along with tenants and co-workers. The hub hosted the Staffordshire Business Festival in November 2019.
By 2021, and as a result of the new Smart Innovation Hub facilities, the university will grow its established programme of business support accessed via its dedicated Business Gateway by an additional 300 business collaborations, leading to the creation of at least 80 new high-value jobs in the local area. An independent appraisal signals that investment in the facilities and a programme of business-collaboration will contribute an additional £50million to the local economy by 2033.
Keele Innovation Centre No. 5 (IC5)
Local Growth Fund Investment = £4.92m (Staffordshire County Council)
Completed in 2016, Innovation Centre 5 (IC5) provides high quality office and workshop accommodation for high tech businesses situated at the highly successful Keele University Science and Innovation Park.
The Staffordshire County Council invested £7million to fund and help build IC5 and have worked closely in partnership with Keele University to develop the business park and attract high tech businesses. It is now fully occupied and the building houses more employees than had been anticipated.
Technology businesses and start-ups based at the business park can take advantage of high quality lettable business accommodation; state-of-the-art shared facilities to foster university and business collaboration and a pool of highly educated graduates from which to recruit.
Redhill Business Park
Local Growth Fund Investment = £0.76m (Staffordshire County Council)
Redhill Business Park has been created by Staffordshire County Council and lies north of Stafford on the A34, close to junction 14 of the M6.
It is home to GE (pictured above), Omicron and now Saint Gobain following its relocation from Doxey. Saint Gobain’s new facilities include the company’s new Centre of Excellence, testing and training facilities, customer services department and the impressive new distribution centre.
The new building – Unicorn House – is at the heart of Saint Gobain’s UK business operations providing customer services, an extensive training area and the company’s main distribution centre that will hold UK s
Local Sustainable Transport Package (LSTP)
Local Growth Fund Investment = £7.76m (Stoke on Trent City Council (£3.30m) & Staffordshire County Council (£4.46m))
The scheme is a package of measures to improve and encourage sustainable travel across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Each project within the package to be delivered through a combination of Growth Deal funds and local contributions.
The chosen schemes within the package are those that closely relate to city/town centre regeneration proposals and provide the greatest opportunity to encourage travel by sustainable transport to existing and future jobs.
Staffordshire: All projects are on track to deliver the agreed benefits on time and within budget. They include:
- An upgrade to walking and cycling route between Ventura Retail Park, Tamworth town centre and Tamworth rail station
- Refurbishment of Ferry Bridge footbridge in Burton (pictured above)
- Delivery of a Real Time bus Passenger Information (RTPI) system for Staffordshire with roadside information in Tamworth, Burton and Newcastle and serving I54
- Pedestrian and public realm enhancements in Newcastle town centre at the bus station and High Street / Merrial Street junction and cycle route between May Bank and the town centre
- Completion of sections of the National Cycle Network that feed into Stafford and Burton
- Enhanced cycle link between i54 and Bilbrook rail station
Stoke-on-Trent City: Growth Deal 1 programme completed. These are:
- Potteries Way/Bucknall Rd junction improvement.
- Lichfield St property acquisition for future junction improvement.
- 301 Waterloo Road property demolished.
- 293 Waterloo Rd property acquisition for future junction improvement.
- Festival Way to A53 Shared Footway/Cycleway Scheme
Growth Deal 3 programme first phase works are now under way.
Tamworth Enterprise Quarter
Local Growth Fund Investment = £2.9m (Tamworth Borough Council)
Tamworth Enterprise Quarter is a programme consisting of the following components:
- Refurbishment and enlargement of the Assembly Rooms, a key cultural venue
- Conversion of the Philip Dix Centre to a Business and Enterprise Centre
- Redevelopment of the Carnegie Centre as a restaurant
- Enhancements to the public realm/Tamworth Library
This investment could revitalise each of the above and, collectively, they offer the prospect of playing a major role in the re-inventing of Tamworth. Public sector investment and, specifically, LGF money is critical to making this happen.
The project is delivering 39 FTE construction jobs and 98 ongoing jobs. Its value is £1.4 million of construction‐related Gross Value Added and £13.4 million of town centre GVA economic value.
The Business Enterprise Centre facilities fully occupied, utilisation. There are 19 business tenants, currently employing 61 people. In addition there are 15 virtual tenants and 1,812 trainees have attended training organisation events.
The Assembly Rooms are scheduled to open in early 2020 following extensive refurbishment while assessment of marketing results for the Carnegie Centre has taken place.
Rugeley Flood Storage Area
Local Growth Fund Investment = £0.75m (Cannock Chase District Council)
The scheme has provided a flood storage area will help to ensure that opportunity sites in Rugeley town centre can be redeveloped as per Rugeley Town Centre Area Action Plan.
The plan was adopted in 2014 as part of the Local Plan Part 1 and provides the planning policy for the regeneration and investment in three opportunity sites within the town centre
There is the potential to deliver 330 new jobs; 140 new homes; additional sports pitches on Hagley Playing fields as part of landscaping.
The construction is now a formal flood defence. As a result land can be opened up for housing and business development.
City Centre Access
Local Growth Fund Investment = £6.41m (Stoke on Trent City Council)
This is a programme of access improvements to the Stoke-on-Trent city centre between the strategic road network (A500/A50), the mainline railway station and the city centre.
The scheme includes the remodelling of the main gateway to the city centre so that it can better meet the needs of all users, including vehicles, pedestrians and customers. It will also help to reduce congestion at key pinch points to stimulate economic activity and attract investment.
It aims to improve connectivity and accessibility to the city centre, which will result in regeneration and wider economic benefits. Similarly, the public realm improvements at the gateways to the city will improve its attractiveness.
- Marina Way: The outline design has been completed, planning application registered and the design approval set to be approved by city council highways.
- Station Road / Leek Road junction – Land purchase from the Sixth Form College and Staffordshire University set to go ahead.
- Station Quarter Phase 2 – Improvement work to footpaths and highways complete. Landscaping including tree replacement works ongoing.
- Works to Winton Square are now being considered as ‘Station Quarter – Phase 3′.
- Independent external land valuation to establish the land value for proposed acquisition of the Boughey Road junction has been completed
Lichfield Southern Bypass Phase 3
Local Growth Fund Investment = £0.33m (Staffordshire County Council)
The Lichfield southern bypass phase three is an essential part of the city’s infrastructure to support its future growth.
Work started in January 2019 and is progressing well. The £17.5million scheme will connect the A5127 Birmingham Road with the A5206 London Road. It will involve building an underpass beneath the Cross City railway line.
The railway bridge and the connection to Birmingham Road roundabout is being funded by through the Government’s Local Growth Deal. The remaining 600 metre stretch is being funded by a developer.
The Department for Transport allocated £5 million to the scheme, with £2.3m of its Growth Deal funding to the project.
The work, scheduled to be completed in 2020. The new road will link with a new housing development and new primary school in addition to easing congestion in the city centre and in particular around the railway station.
Chatterley Valley West Site Access
Local Growth Fund Investment = £0.07m (Staffordshire County Council)
The funding helped to deliver off-site infrastructure works to provide accesses to the site, paving the way for future development.
Harworth Estates recently secured land ownership of the full Chatterley Valley West site. Outputs will be claimed within the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone deliverables.
Growing Places Fund
Dunston Business Village (above) – £1.3million Growing Places Fund loan
This programme is helping to generate economic activity in the short term by addressing immediate infrastructure and site constraints.
The GPF has awarded £6.4million in loans to date with 984 jobs created, 295,000 sq ft of office space, 860,000 sq ft warehouse/commercial, 140 hotel/bedspaces and 389 houses.
Omicron, based at Redhill in Stafford, received a £400,000 GPF loan with £1.2million private sector investment.