Archive for July, 2014

Active Staffordshire

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Have you heard of ‘Sportshire’? It’s the name we’ve put to an excellent piece of work we’re doing to make sport a vital part of our vision around prosperity, health and happiness.

By making Staffordshire an attractive sporting destination, we’re not only boosting our economy with the money spent by competitors and spectators, we’re also giving local people lots of opportunity to become more physically active.

Today, general entries to Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire opened and with over 7000 people having pre-registered their interest, the competition for a place in the race will be fierce (although I’m guessing not quite as fierce as the competition in the race itself!). As part of our sponsorship of the event, we’ve got some free entries for county council staff, so if you’re up for the challenge, find out how you can put your name forward.

This weekend, it’s also Staffordshire Cycling Festival, so if you’re looking for something to entertain the kids, have a look at what’s on. We’re one of a number of partners who have sponsored this event.

 

Local Growth Fund

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

We have received a massive boost this week to support one of our key priority areas – job creation and economic growth. The Government’s Single Local Growth Fund allocations to local enterprise partnership areas were announced on July 7 and will result in the delivery of major business and transport projects in Staffordshire.

Our growth fund allocation is one of the larger ones – reflecting the strength of the bid based on our successful delivery of projects already and our strategic plan for the years to come. The county council had a big part to play in the development of this plan. Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent up to 5,000 jobs could be created following the £82.2million SLGF allocation.

We will see projects in Staffordshire start from as early as April next year. One of the larger schemes in our area is the Stafford Western Access Route, which will ease congestion and aid business and housing development in the county town. This project had been scheduled for 2010 with funding from the Department for Transport, but was postponed as part of the Government’s spending review. We’re pleased it can now finally get off the ground. Other schemes include road improvements around Lichfield Park employment site, a new roundabout on the A34 north of Stone to support the Meaford development and road improvements at Bericote Four Ashes in South Staffordshire. From 2016/17 funding will be available for improvement of the Branston interchange near Burton, a sustainable transport package across the county and the next phase of the Advanced Manufacturing Skills Hub; which follows county council investment at the Torc centre in Tamworth.

We now need to demonstrate effective delivery of these projects to unlock more investment. Based on our recent successes, including i54 South Staffordshire, Redhill and ‘pinch-point’ road improvements in Stafford and Rocester, I have every confidence we will do so.