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Going for growth at Staffordshire’s Dunston Business Village
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Going for growth at Staffordshire’s Dunston Business Village

Country life with city facilities is proving a winning combination for a Staffordshire business development.
Dunston Business Village began life in 2008 with the small-scale conversion of redundant farm buildings into business space on a site just over a mile from Junction 13 on the M6.
Today, with the help of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund, the village is home to more than 50 businesses, employing a total of 450 people.
Growing Places provided £585,000 of funding to assist the venture in speeding up its expansion plans to meet growing demand, enabling the village to triple its size. Twenty distinctive log cabin-style business units have been built alongside the original buildings. Three more units are currently under construction and further development is in the pipeline, potentially creating up to 300 more jobs.
The “village people” seeing the appeal of Dunston, situated on the A449 between Stafford and Penkridge, range from one-person start-up businesses to blue-chip firms such as Hope Construction, Jones Lang LaSalle and RPS Environmental Management, which all have regional offices at the site.
Dunston Business Village was the brainchild of entrepreneur Adrian MacLaughlin, who was looking for premises for his own IT business when he came across the redundant buildings and decided to exploit the economies of scale available by creating a shared site for numerous businesses.
“All the experts said you couldn’t have a successful business park in the countryside, but if you get the location and the infrastructure right people will flock to somewhere that has a better quality of working life,” Mr MacLaughlin said. “They don’t want to spend an hour or more a day travelling into a big city centre, and they appreciate having an attractive base that they can invite clients to.”
He added that Growing Places assistance meant Dunston had been able to meet high demand for its office space by starting new construction much more quickly than would otherwise have been the case.
“It has enabled us to expand at a much quicker rate, which in turn has allowed our clients to expand and take on more employees,” Mr MacLaughlin said.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE commented: “Dunston Business Village has proved a great addition to the mix of business sites we have in our region, which are attracting a diverse range of go-ahead companies and helping them to thrive.
“Dunston is a great illustration of what an attractive place this area is for firms to locate and grow, and we look forward to its continuing success as a leading regional commercial site.”
Dunston’s location and transport links mean it draws its tenants from a wide catchment area, including Stafford, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Cannock, Stoke-on-Trent and Telford, and Mr MacLaughlin said recent enquiries had come from as far afield as Scotland and London.
The business village’s facilities include high-speed broadband, state of the art phone systems with disaster recovery, IT support, meeting rooms, and discount schemes with suppliers, based on the aggregated business from all the firms on the site, so that even the smallest enterprises can share the benefits.
“It means that the SMEs have access to all the support and facilities that the big firms take for granted,” Mr MacLaughlin explained. Facilities also include showers in all the new offices, designed for staff who want to enjoy country life with a lunchtime run, plus a bistro and a laundry service.
And businesses are not the only tenants – the landscaping at the site includes fish ponds stocked with carp, as well as bird boxes, which this year have achieved a 100 per cent occupancy rate, mirroring that of the office space.
The business village, which also boasts a total of 360 solar panels plus rainwater harvesting to water its plants and landscaping, has been recognised in a string of award schemes, including regional winner and fourth place nationally in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Regeneration Awards.
The Growing Places fund assists firms considering a range of expansion plans such as buying or constructing new buildings, refurbishing existing premises, improving access or introducing environmental improvements.
The £11million fund is designed to boost economic activity in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, promoting the delivery of jobs and housing and addressing infrastructure and site constraints by offering firms interest-free or low-rate loans.