Fantastic news for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as we secure a City Deal

I wanted to let you all know as soon as possible the fantastic news about our City Deal with the Government which we have been working on for some time now. Over the last few years we have been working closely with our partners on the Local Enterprise Partnership, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and a range of businesses to secure a ‘City Deal’ for Staffordshire and the city of Stoke on Trent.

I signed the Powerhouse Central City Deal on Thursday at Goodwins Ltd with Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister for Cities, Mohamed Pervez, Leader of Stoke City Council, and Ron Dougan, Chairman of our Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Government is committing £30.9 million which combined with private sector investment and other programmes will see over £113 million invested in the local economy over the next 10 years. Our Deal is the biggest of all the second wave of city deals in terms of direct cash from Government, which acknowledges our ability to deliver on such ambitious proposals. It is also the key to unlocking far greater opportunities for us all through European funding and inward investment.

The hard work starts now on delivering our City Deal – called Powerhouse Central. This will help to accelerate our work to create a connected county and the right conditions for business to thrive. Thousands more skilled, better paid jobs will be created across the area in the fields of sustainable energy, and advanced manufacturing and materials.

An important part of the deal is developing unique plans to supply locally-produced, sustainable energy to some of our major employers. Addressing the cost and stable supply of power tackles one of the biggest challenges for local manufacturers, which will help to safeguard jobs and enable thousands more to be created.

In addition to this our schools, colleges, training providers and universities will be brought together with employers to make sure Staffordshire people have the right skills and training to benefit from the new, higher skilled, better paid jobs. This will include more apprenticeships and training opportunities. New and existing sites across the county and city will also be developed so more businesses can set up or expand.

My thanks go to everyone involved in putting together this plan and I put down a challenge to all Staffordshire people to take the opportunities you now will have. You can keep up with the latest news on Powerhouse Central at www.stokestaffslep.org.uk<http://www.stokestaffslep.org.uk

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