Work on a multi-million-pound north Staffordshire development which is set to create hundreds of jobs got back on track this week.
Development at the Chatterley Valley West employment site near Newcastle-under-Lyme started in January this year. The brownfield site just off the A500 could create up to 1,700 jobs and will be one of the biggest business developments in the north of the county in decades.
In recent weeks, the project developer Harworth Group has been working closely with Staffordshire County Council to get critical highways infrastructure work restarted after an unforeseen pause.
The initial highways contractor, Buckingham Group, went into administration earlier this year. Now, Harworth has appointed county council highways partner Amey Plc to complete this phase of works by late spring next year when Peacock Hay Road will reopen.
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said:
“Chatterley Valley West has provided us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unlock a major parcel of industrial land, close to strategic transport links.
“The administration of one of the sub-contractors working on the development was outside of our control but we do recognise the inconvenience and disruption this delay has caused to local people and businesses.
“Thankfully we moved with Harworth as quickly as possible to find a solution to the Peacock Hay Road issue and are now back on track with the works. We’d like to thank people for their patience and understanding and can assure people that the team will be working hard to complete as soon as possible.
“When complete the site will enable existing businesses to expand and for new ones to invest in Staffordshire, from across the UK and internationally.”
Chatterley Valley West will see major private sector investment, with an additional £3.7million funding through the Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s Kidsgrove Town Deal. A further £3.5million investment is being made by Staffordshire County Council which will be paid back through business rates that are wholly retained within the area. The site lies within the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, providing huge benefits to businesses located there and the councils and Local Enterprise Partnership partners.
Through the joint funding by both councils, essential roads and infrastructure at the site are now being delivered to pave the way for the development of industrial units. Outline planning permission for the site allows for up to 1.17 million square feet (109,000 sqm) of development.
Andrew Pexton, regional director for the Northwest at Harworth Group, said:
“Our Chatterley Valley development, located in the heart of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, will meet growing industrial and logistics occupier demand in Staffordshire, supporting new jobs and investment in the area. “Following an unforeseen pause to site preparation works, we are pleased to now be back on track and working with local stakeholders to progress this exciting development.”
Simon Tagg, leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said:
“The enhancement of the enterprise zone is great news for Kidsgrove, and the borough as a whole, as it will create hundreds of new jobs and safeguard existing ones in the area.
“The £3.5million investment from the county council in the Chatterley Valley site, alongside the £3.7million the borough council secured as part of the Kidsgrove Town Deal, shows that we are serious about growing our places and creating opportunities for our residents and businesses.
“The positive impact this project will have, in terms of employment and the local economy, is most welcome and it shows that Newcastle-under-Lyme is a fantastic place to do business.”
When the site is fully built out, it could release total business rates of more than £2.5 million per annum. Until March 2041 these business rates will be wholly retained in the local area and can be used to help fund further regeneration schemes.