Enterprise Zone status approval signals Stoke-on-Trent’s resurgence
Council leaders in Stoke-on-Trent have hailed the Government’s decision to approve the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone as recognition of the city’s growing status as a new growth point for UK Plc.
The chain of six enterprise development locations along the A500 corridor through the city will create over 7,000 new jobs, regenerating over 240 hectares of largely brownfield land, with over £2.5billion of investment over the next decade.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s deputy leader, Councillor Abi Brown, said this was a sign of the city’s new found self-confidence and energy.
She said: “I am absolutely delighted with today’s announcement that Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is to get an Enterprise Zone, based around our ground-breaking Ceramic Valley proposal.
“After the disappointment of the 2011 bid failing to gain any traction, I was determined that this time we should put in a strong, coherent bid that played to the city’s newly emerging strengths and focuses on delivering real tangible results quickly, and I cannot wait to see this development start to take shape.
“There is a real buzz at the moment locally with so many great things happening – European City of Sport next year, new housing and retail developments in progress and now the Enterprise Zone. I am delighted that the Government has recognised this and is backing our ambitious plans to deliver a growing aspirational city.
“The Government is now recognising Stoke-on-Trent’s extraordinary potential. This opens the door to the further growth stimulated by HS2 connectivity and the Northern Gateway. Stoke-on-Trent is cementing a reputation as a growth point for the nation.”
Councillor Brown said it was further evidence of the city’s new dynamic and adds momentum to its trajectory as one of the fastest growing economies in the country, with record job and business expansion and falls in unemployment.
Iain Griffin, development manager for Harworth Estates, welcomed the announcement, saying it makes Stoke-on-Trent a hot ticket for international investment.
He said: “We’re delighted that the ‘Ceramic Valley’ has secured Enterprise Zone status, which is a real shot in the arm for the local economy and shows confidence in what the region is trying to achieve economically.
“The announcement helps to put our Chatterley Valley development on the map and will provide further incentives to companies who want to locate here.”
There are only 24 other Enterprise Zones in the UK to date. Ceramic Valley was one of only 18 new Enterprise Zones across the country and won through despite massive competition.
Enterprise Zone status makes the city a real investment pull for international investors, dramatically reducing the costs and barriers to business growth.