Business Chiefs Back Jobs and Growth Bid

Staffordshire LEPStaffordshire’s business heavyweights came together this week to back joint council plans to create over 30,000 new jobs across the county and Stoke-on-Trent over the next 10 years.

Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council will next week submit a joint bid for a City Deal from Government.  Securing a deal would bring in hundreds of millions of pounds of funding, more powers and greater freedom for the councils and their partners to stimulate the local economy and create tens of thousands of jobs.

During last night’s business reception at Keele Hall, the heads of more than 15 of the city and county’s top employers endorsed the City Deal proposals, signing a charter to demonstrate their support.  They include Alstom’s UK president Stephen Burgin, and representatives from JCB, Wedgwood, Steelite and more.

The joint City Deal proposal is based on a vision to make Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent an economic powerhouse in advanced materials, including metals, ceramics and polymers.  Building on the city and county’s industrial heritage, the bid to Government focuses on exploiting radical new energy sources to provide heat and power, alongside developing new employment sites to attract new business.

Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said, “Creating more jobs for people across the entire county by supporting business and attracting investment, is the county council’s number one priority.

“We cannot do this alone or even just by working with other councils.  It is essential we work with major employers from across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to understand their needs and how we can help support them, and in turn get their backing as we make our case for a City Deal to Government.

“I’m delighted that so many of our major businesses are on board and backing the deal bid.  It continues a successful track record of working with the private sector to make Staffordshire an even better place to do business and a county where businesses are clamouring to invest.”

Cllr Mohammed Pervez, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said, “I’m delighted that at long last there is a real focus on jobs and a buzz about the place.  We are all singing from the same song sheet.

“Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is the place to bring business, this area has huge potential.  Know we need to show the leadership to make our vision become a reality.”

Ron Dougan, Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said, “It was great to see so many major employers from across Stoke and Staffordshire coming together last night in support of the City Deal bid.

“It’s essential the public and private sector work hand in hand to drive economic growth across the city and county, to generate jobs and greater prosperity for local people.  It is clear that the major players in our area are committed to working together to deliver on these ambitions.”

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