Over 1,000 jobs are already being secured at the UK’s first Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone – in just six months.
Expressions of interest have also been received from more than 40 other businesses about moving onto the site – with the potential to provide a further huge boost to the Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire economy.
The news comes as the official launch of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone takes place at the Moat House Hotel, on Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent tomorrow (FRI).
The Ceramic Valley is one of only 44 Enterprise Zones across the country and is designed to accelerate growth in a range of employment sectors. It comprises four million square feet of commercial floor space – the equivalent of 250 football pitches – and has the potential for 9,000 jobs. The zone covers six key sites along the A500 corridor – five of which are in Stoke-on-Trent and one in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Conservative Councillor Abi Brown, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s deputy leader, and chair of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone Board, said: “We know the potential of the Enterprise Zone is huge, and the success in attracting businesses so far is fantastic. This has come through really close work with developers from a very early stage to understand their needs, as well as wide spread and innovative ways of promoting the benefits that it has to offer – this includes at international ceramic trade shows and even advertising on a local haulage company’s trucks.
“This hard work is paying off, and the interest we have received from national and international businesses is really positive. It clearly demonstrates the confidence that is growing in the local economy.
“There is interest in all six sites, and strong progress is already being made at Etruria Valley and at Highgate Ravensdale – where construction and visual signs of development are clear. Parcel delivery company DPD and carvery restaurant Brindley Farm are already on site and operational at Etruria Valley and Tile Mountain is building a distribution hub at Highgate Ravensdale.
“Current and proposed activity across the Enterprise Zone will already account for more than 1,000 jobs – with another 8,000 to come. This is great news for the local workforce and proves that businesses are recognising the benefits that investing in the area will bring.”
Enterprise Zone status helps to reduce the costs and barriers to business growth, making the site a real pull for international investors.
The six areas will regenerate largely brownfield land, with the potential for many multi-million pound investments over the next decade. The Enterprise Zone status was awarded to the area by the Conservative government in Westminster, demonstrating a commitment to Stoke-on-Trent.