Future plans building on past successes

Look around Staffordshire today and you’ll see new business premises and enterprise parks occupied by global companies, inventors, entrepreneurs and local creative companies. This is all part of our plan to grow our economy and create opportunities for people to fulfil their aspirations of a better life by generating more better paid jobs.

The importance of a strong and growing economy cannot be underestimated.  Ensuring people are in work and have money in their pocket to lead the lives they want remains the most important thing we can do to improve family incomes and reduce demand on public services.  We will do this by creating the right conditions for businesses to grow and thrive.

2017 saw yet another successful year with not only the further development of new business sites like i54 South Staffordshire, and Redhill Business Park,  but vital improvements to infrastructure like roads and superfast broadband now available at 95% of premises.  Our economy is in good shape.  Business Parks in Staffordshire are now home to leading international businesses such as Jaguar Land Rover, Gestamp and General Electric who inject millions into the local supply chain. But smaller local companies, which account for 96% of all businesses,   also play their part too, reinforcing their role in the local economy.

Since 2014, economy boosting projects with a total value of £383million have been completed, are under construction or being planned.  This should result in the creation of some 13,000 jobs for local people.  In line with this, we’ve also seen near full employment over the same period, with just one per cent of the local population claiming unemployment benefits. This is lower than both regional and national averages.  A high number of our schools are rated as good and last year our skills programme created more than 5,000 apprentices and supported three new Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Skills Hubs.  Teams also started visiting schools and talking to pupils  to raise aspirations about the higher skilled  jobs of the future.

With even more exciting projects like the Smart Innovation Hub at Keele University Science and Innovation Park coming online soon, and the completion of the A50 Project A improvements in Uttoxeter at the end of 2018, we are looking forward to building on these successes.

We’re opening doors for business to grow. We’re attracting  new investment to the county and we are making Staffordshire right for business to improve the lives of everyone living here.

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy and healthy 2018.

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