Econominc growth

This month we saw the launch of a landmark partnership between the Cheshire and Warrington and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnerships, to deliver the Northern Gateway Development Zone.

The strategic vision is to stimulate economic growth in the region, maximizing the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine and taking advantage of the investment potential arising from the HS2 station when it is announced. Unlocking the investment opportunities could help deliver more than 100,000 new homes and 120,000 new jobs by 2040 which would be great for the area.

I have spoken about this many times before – in Staffordshire, we already have a reputation of working with our partners and neighbours to create new jobs and deliver economic growth. This new partnership presents a further opportunity alongside the work Midland’s Connect is already doing to build on this success story and ensure we get the best deal for Staffordshire and its people.

Showcasing Staffordshire and it’s huge investment potential was also top of the agenda at this year’s MIPIM UK event.   Representatives from our Local Enterprise Partnership and ‘Make it Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’ have been meeting with Ministers, leading businesses and industry leaders, with some very positive feedback. I also got the chance to catch up with Brandon Lewis MP about the wider role of local government in supporting economic growth.

Speakers from Kier, Stoford and Keele, Penda property partnership, the Liberty Park development, and Midland’s Connect all gave presentations on the opportunities available. A key focus for us this year was looking at development opportunities in the hotel sector, with Colin Bryan from Drayton Manor Park giving a speech about their experiences of developing a 4 star hotel at the park.

JCB is one of Staffordshire’s truly remarkable manufacturing success stories and we were all incredibly proud to be able to celebrate their 70th anniversary last week. With its roots firmly planted in Staffordshire and its global headquarters in Rocester, their story is one of continuous innovation and hard work.

In its seven decades, the company has gone from strength to strength and remains a major employer in the county, continuing to develop people’s skills in our key sectors of engineering and manufacturing. We look forward to the coming decades of continuing success, innovation and the creation of the next generation of engineers.

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