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IC5 Keel
Professor Trevor McMillan, Keele University’s Vice-Chancellor (left) with Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for economic growth Mark Winnington.

Staffordshire’s economic growth programme gathers strength

More jobs are being created at business development sites with county council involvement and its skills programme is exceeding its target, a new report states.

An economic growth programme update details progress and achievements since it started in 2014 and in particular recent successes.

One site developed with county council investment – Innovation Centre 5 (IC5) at Keele Science and
Innovation Park – is now fully occupied. When the business case was developed for IC5 it was estimated that 120 would be employed there when full. There are now 160 skilled employees on site.

The county council helps to deliver a £58million education and skills programme on behalf of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership. The programme, which started in 2016, has seen nearly 20,000 learners benefitting – which is 113 per cent of the programme. Of these over 9,000 have progressed into work or training.

The total value of the county economic growth programme is around £477.6 million, which includes £81.9 million direct investment by the county council. For every £1 investment by the county council in current live projects, £9.22 additional funding is levered in. The 16 employment creating projects which have been completed since the start of the programme could create over 22,500 jobs when fully occupied.

Recent programme highlights include the start of development work at Liberty Park in Lichfield, relocation of aerial platform specialist Haulotte to Four Ashes Park in South Staffordshire and occupancy of the first unit at Meaford Business Park near Stone by metal pipe and hose manufacturer Arctrend.

At the Chatterley Valley West site in Newcastle a renewed application to develop the site has been approved while at i54 South Staffordshire work has begun on its western extension and Midlands company Morris Site Machinery has started work on a new facility on the current site.

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

This programme update highlights its strength and successes and demonstrates that business wants to invest here and that our skills programme is making a real difference.

It also shows how an effective partnership of organisations in both private and public sectors is vital in ensuring projects happen and achieve their aim.

While this comes against the backdrop of near full employment in Staffordshire we will continue our focus on supporting growth in higher value sectors and creating better skilled, better paid jobs.”

The update will be presented to the county council’s Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee next Thursday October 3.