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Four Ashes Park
Simon Jenkins, development director at First Pannatoni which is building one of the speculative developments (left) with county council finance leader Mike Sutherland.

Near full employment in county as business sites continue to thrive

Staffordshire’s thriving business sites are boosting job opportunities as the county continues to see near full employment.

Statistics released today show that just 1.3 per cent of Staffordshire’s working age population claims out of work benefits. This is lower that both regional (2.8 per cent) and national (2.1 per cent) averages and has remained the same for the last three months.

This week sees the official opening of the new facility for one of the Staffordshire’s major employers at a site developed with the county council. Automotive parts manufacturer Gestamp is already operating in its new base at Four Ashes Business Park in South Staffordshire and will officially mark its opening on Thursday. County council chairman Michael Greatorex will be attending the event.

Staffordshire County Council carried out the works to create access to the Four Ashes site, paving the way for the site development. The project received a £1.91million allocation from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, as well as developer contributions.

In addition to Gestamp’s facility, two speculative developments are being built on the rest of the site, meaning it is now fully occupied.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said:

It is pleasing to mark another business success milestone in Staffordshire with Gestamp as we see continued near full employment in the county.

The company chose to relocate and expand within Staffordshire and we were able to play a part in helping to provide a suitable site.

Gestamp is a major employer in one of our key sectors and has created exactly the types of jobs we want to see as we strive for better paid, better skilled employment opportunities. Furthermore the speculative developments being built on the remaining parts of the Four Ashes site demonstrate high investor confidence in Staffordshire.”