Growth deal set to create thousands of jobs for the future

On Tuesday we welcomed the news of additional investment to improve facilities at the County Hospital, the new name for Stafford’s hospital once the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust is dissolved in November.


The campaign to keep services here in Stafford showed us clearly how much people value their local hospital and it is positive news to see the facilities improved further.  Ultimately, we would like to see our County Hospital become known as a beacon for delivering quality care for residents as part of a very different, positive story of improving healthcare across the county.


In more health news, a recent report on dementia highlighted that not enough was being done to develop standards of care around the condition and one in three people will be affected by it.  However, here in Staffordshire, we have already been working to meet the challenges faced by a growing need for effective dementia care. New community dementia hubs will transform the way residents in Staffordshire receive care and support for the condition throughout their lives.


Our new centres of excellence in Burton and Lichfield will allow families to access community support, specialist dementia services and nursing care on the same site.  Added to this, I recently paid a visit to the new Limewood Dementia Centre in Stafford—part of the £25 million Northfield Village development—which is already offering state-of-the-art care to those living with dementia.


We want to give people coping with dementia a better quality of life and dignity as their condition changes. Our approach will mean that we are ready to meet the challenges that dementia poses to individuals, their families and the wider community, and will ensure we are well prepared to meet future challenges.


On Thursday we welcomed cities minister Greg Clark MP to the county to sign the £82.2million Growth Deal, one of the largest Government Deals in the country.  The Deal would see the creation of 11,000 better paid new jobs following major business and supporting transport development in the area.  It is estimated that the growth deal will bring a further £10million from public and private sector investment.


This is a hugely important piece of work to give more of us the opportunity to lead better lives.  The deal was announced back in early July and development work could begin as early as April.  The key projects include the Etruria Valley Enterprise Area (creating up to 2,500 jobs), Lichfield Park employment site (1,100 jobs), Meaford employment site near Stone (2,200 jobs) and Bericote Four Ashes employment site in South Staffordshire (1,080 jobs). There will also be £16.1million investment to construct the Stafford Western Access Route which we are now consulting on.


The following year will see a major development at Branston Locks near Burton leading to potentially 3,800 jobs and 2,500 new homes.  In addition to all this, the investment will support our Local Enterprise Partnership’s Advanced Manufacturing Skills Hub – providing the skills and engineers needed by businesses and increasing traineeships and apprenticeships opportunities.

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