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Four Ashes Business Park, South Staffordshire

Staffordshire economic growth and skills development continue at pace

Business development sites currently under construction in Staffordshire with county council involvement will generate over £10million a year in business rates, a report published today states.

And figures show the county is also developing a skilled local workforce to meet the growing demands of business.

Sites such as Liberty Park in Lichfield, Four Ashes in South Staffordshire, Meaford near Stone and the MacArthurGlen Designer Retail Outlet in Cannock will bring in around £10.3million in business rates when completed. Half of this will be retained locally and help to fund public services.

The county council’s economic growth programme update informs of successes delivered so far. It will be discussed at the Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee meeting next Friday, March 1.

Whilst business development continues at pace across the county, the county council’s long term economic growth programme also focuses on ensuring people have the right skills to take advantage of increased employment opportunities.

Working with the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the county council’s skills development programme has led to over 18,200 people improving their employability prospects or improving their in-work skills – directly benefiting local businesses. Nearly £60million has been invested in this programme so far.

In addition, the LEP’s Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Hub, located at six sites, provides state of the art facilities and equipment giving people the skills they need to work in the county’s key industry sectors.

The £13.2 million hub has already supported over 7,300 learners since the project was launched in 2014.

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

Our economic growth and skills programme is delivering some fantastic results which are making a real difference to our economy and to people’s lives.

It is vital that we are creating the right conditions for business growth and job creation and it is equally important that people gain the skills they need to take advantage of growing opportunities.

We have major development projects planned for 2019 which will bring in millions of pounds of future investment and essential business rates that will retained locally to support the running of our public services.”