A business park expansion backed by Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is being hailed as a great example of a growing economy and new opportunities.
In the week when Staffordshireâ€™s Jobseekers Allowance claimants figure dropped to its lowest level in more than two decades, Dunston Business Village has been praised for its contribution to creating new jobs and helping enterprises grow.
Dunston Business Village, between Stafford and Penkridge, was farmland in 2008 but has since been transformed into an award-winning business park.
It is already home to more than 50 businesses, and is now adding a further 40 units â€“ in a project which has been backed by the Governmentâ€™s Growing Places Fund and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The Â£585,000 funding has sped up the process of building the units and 12 have now been completed. All of the units have already been pre-let and the village is already fully occupied. The expansion will almost triple the size of the site.
Businesses on site range from architects to website design companies. Over a third of the businesses are currently expanding their operations and creating more jobs. Dunston Business Village continues to attract companies from across the Midlands and North West to its rural site close to junction 13 of the M6.
Dunston Business Village managing director and LEP board member Adrian Maclauchlin said he was pleased the site was attracting investment, building innovation and creating jobs.
He said: â€œItâ€™s great to see that we have near full employment in Staffordshire and Dunston Business Village is playing its part in achieving this. Here at Dunston I wanted to create an environment where businesses wanted to be and where people wanted to work. Most of our businesses employ between one and 60 people and the feedback I receive is how they all enjoy spending their working day here and that Staffordshire is a great location. I believe that this can have a really positive impact on productivity.
â€œNow weâ€™ve been able to expand and when completed this will mean we have almost tripled in size. Weâ€™ve been backed by the Growing Places Fund which means we can meet the high demand for our office space, within a reasonable time. 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.â€
Less than one per cent of Staffordshireâ€™s population â€“ under 5,000 people â€“ now claim JSA. This is the lowest figure since 1993.
Staffordshireâ€™s economy leader Mark Winnington said: â€œThe figures show the lowest JSA claimant figure in Staffordshire for over two decades and since current records began which really shows how our economy has grown and that opportunities are increasing. A combination of continued inward investment, business expansion, start-up success and skills development are all playing a part in the countyâ€™s success. We will continue to work closely with our partners to build on this achievement.
â€œDunston Business Village is a thriving and demonstrates why our economy is doing so well. It is adding to the mix of business sites we have in the county which are attracting a diverse range of companies. Adrian has done a fantastic job in transforming this site into a leading commercial site regionally. We look forward to seeing more businesses operating on site soon.â€