Investment and job creation opportunities in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are on the agenda at an international investment event.
A team from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will be raising the region’s profile and promoting the off-the-peg sites, land and skilled workforce available.
LEP vice-chair Kerry Diamond said: “There have been some huge success stories in the county in the last 12 months, including Jaguar Land Rover’s arrival at i54 South Staffordshire.
“At the moment there is more than £750 million pounds worth of major investment and infrastructure projects underway in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and we want the rest of the world to know they will thrive and prosper in the heart of the UK.”
The five day event is at the MIPIM conference in Cannes, attended by investors and local authorities from across Europe promoting their areas.
Kerry said: “Where organisers choose to hold the event is beyond our control, but the key thing is it helps us to meet many, many people who control millions of pounds worth of investment money. It would be so difficult to meet these people without this event.”
The LEP is being supported by Make it Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, the joint inward investment team for Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council.
As well as publicising key employment sites, the growth of the automotive sector and promoting property and housing regeneration opportunities, the team will also be calling upon the expertise of speakers from companies such as JLR.
Kerry said: “There is a great deal of effort around MIPIM because as well as raising our profile, developing personal relationships with decision-makers still counts for a great deal.
“Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is the best place in the country to invest, because there are so many different opportunities, but that means nothing unless we can tell decision-makers about it.”
Councillor Terry Crowe, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for economic development and regulation, said: “We are focused on securing occupier interest in helping us to create a city centre for the 21st century, with investment across the city making Stoke-on-Trent a core city.
“Ours is one of the fastest growing economies in the country, with 3,000 new jobs created in the last two years, a £20m cinema and restaurant expansion at intu Potteries shopping centre, and £25.7m from a regional growth deal which is strengthening our city’s impressive connectivity.
“We are developing a £19.75m district heat network which uniquely uses local sustainable geothermal energy to provide cheap power to city centre businesses. Our world-famous ceramics companies, such as Steelite and Portmeirion are expanding their factories, investing millions of pounds into the city, and Wedgwood is bringing more of its production back home.
“We are blessed with having affordable, development-ready land, with a skilled workforce and some of the best infrastructure in the country, and are committed to bringing investment to the city.”
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Economy, Environment and Transport, said: “The sustained success of the automotive sector in Staffordshire, with companies such as JCB, JLR and Pirelli, is a fine example of how Staffordshire can deliver the facilities, logistics and support for companies to thrive here.”
The event takes place between March 9 and March 13.