The decision by Spanish automotive supplier Gestamp to expand on a new site in Staffordshire demonstrates strong investor confidence in the county and the UK, the county council leader and LEP chairman have said.
Gestamp is relocating from its current location in Cannock to a 550,000 sq ft site at the 52 acre Bericote Four Ashes site in South Staffordshire. 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.
LEP chairman David Frost CBE commented: “This is excellent news for our area, and further proof that Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is a great location for businesses to grow and flourish – and it is a big vote of confidence in the UK economy.
“This announcement is the culmination of months of hard work by the local Gestamp management and ourselves to identify the right location for Gestamp to expand, retaining this important business in the Staffordshire area, facilitating the move and ensuring that local jobs are safeguarded.
“We are very pleased to have had the whole-hearted support of the Department for International Trade, Staffordshire County Council, South Staffordshire District Council and Cannock Chase Council in making this move a success.
“The availability of great sites like Four Ashes, our central location, good transport links and a skilled workforce are proving an unbeatable combination in attracting and retaining businesses.”
Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins OBE said: “Gestamp’s expansion in Staffordshire is great news for the county economy and for the country. This is a major decision by a Spanish company and is a demonstration of investor confidence in the UK and in particular Staffordshire and the West Midlands. This will lead to local job creation and retention as Gestamp is a thriving company in one of our key economic sectors.
“We have worked hard with colleagues at the LEP and the two district councils to enable the company to relocate within the county and been able to present a premium site ready for development with many excellent attributes. Following the allocation of £2million through the Local Growth Fund, the county council has created an access road to the site and work will now take place to improve the trunk road junction, linking to the M6 and M54. This is just another example of Staffordshire County Council’s strong track record in the delivery of major business development projects and helping to safeguard up to 800 jobs.”
South Staffordshire Council leader Brian Edwards said: “We have been working hard with our partners to support the company in making this move and so it is rewarding to see the announcement made today. What is important is that Gestamp is staying in Staffordshire and retaining a local workforce. South Staffordshire is playing its part in driving the county and wider economy with major international businesses deciding to locate here.”
The LEP invested £2m of its funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund in opening up the Four Ashes site for industrial development, working in partnership with Bericote Properties and Staffordshire County Council.
The work involved improving the road access to the 52-acre site at Four Ashes, a prime location off the A449 and close to the M54 and M6. The access on Gravelly Way, off the A449, was made safe and suitable for industrial traffic by widening the road and adding pavements and street lighting, as well as installing traffic signals on the Gravelly Way railway bridge.
Links to video interviews with Philip Atkins and David Frost: https://youtu.be/hsvItyOyvZQ