Stoke-on-Trent City Council has unveiled plans to build a new business and industrial park in the north of the city – with the potential to create dozens of jobs.
The authority has submitted a planning application for 10 units spanning almost 29,000sqft on disused land at Chatterley Valley East adjacent to the North Staffordshire Business Park, within the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone.
The units would be split into three blocks and would be capable of housing research and development, light and general industrial and storage and distribution companies. Market research has shown there is currently a need in the city for small to medium-sized units, particularly for start-up and step-up businesses.
The city council owns the land, and the development is seen as an opportunity to attract investment to the area, and generate a sustainable revenue stream for the council through rental income. The site sits within a predominantly industrial area, near to JCB World Logistics, and is accessed from Innovation Way, via Chatterley Road.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost said: “The Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone is a flagship project for the LEP, linking together six key sites along the strategic A500 corridor to accelerate investment in a wide range of employment sectors, and we are delighted with the rapid pace of progress. The plans for Chatterley Valley east in particular provide some great opportunities for start-up and growing local businesses.
“The Enterprise Zone is good news for our economy in stimulating inward investment, driving business growth and creating more and better jobs for local people. It is strengthening the reputation of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire as a great location with excellent transport links, an enthusiastic workforce and a positive, forward-thinking approach to innovation and growth.”
Cllr Abi Brown, deputy leader of the city council and chair of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone Board, said: “Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone is one of the most successful in the UK, at the very heart of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s continuing economic growth. These units would be built on a speculative basis, which has been successful at other sites in the city, and I think shows the confidence there is in Stoke-on-Trent right now. We have seen a lot more speculative build schemes in the last 18 months than in previous years before, which is really encouraging.
“The zone has secured up to 2,000 jobs and is going from strength to strength, providing a huge boost to the area’s economy. The interest we have received from national and international businesses in all of the six sites is fantastic for this city.”
Cllr Janine Bridges, cabinet member for education and economy, said: “This proposed development shows how we are a forward-thinking council by driving economic growth and creating new, sustainable ways of generating income, which will be reinvested in other services.
“We have one of the fastest growing economies outside of London and our strategies are working, but we are determined not to stop. This will be a further boost to jobs and investment, which is great news for the local workforce and young people moving into the world of work. We are passionate about economic growth in the city.”
The site was formerly occupied by the Ravensdale Forge from around 1879 to 1924. Following the demolition of the forge in the 1920s the site remained disused. At some point between 1951 and 1968 the Goldendale Iron Works were established, including various buildings, tanks and an electricity substation. All buildings and infrastructure relating to the iron works were demolished in the 1980s and the site has remained largely derelict since then.
A decision on the application is expected in the summer.
LEP vice chair Alun Rogers is pictured with Cllr Abi Brown at a recent Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone milestones celebration.