Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone ‘Diminutive Dynamo’ In Running For National Award

Leading Stoke-on-Trent Conservative Councillor Abi Brown has been shortlisted for the second year running for the prestigious Local Government Information Unit Cllr Achievement Awards, for her vision and leadership of projects such as the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, which has secured and delivered nearly 2000 jobs since 2015 across transformed brownfield sites in Stoke-on-Trent.

The awards – recognising the brightest and best councillors in the country, as nominated by their colleagues and peers – are now in their ninth year, and recognise the important work of councillors across as number of categories.

Abi has been shortlisted for the Finance and Transformation Award, which LGiU outlines as being for councillors who have ‘shown vision in maximising the resources available to the council’. Her nomination talks about how she has ‘spearheaded a number of high profile projects, including the city’s shortlisted bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, it’s shortlisted bid to host a Channel 4 Creative Hub, and securing Enterprise Zone status,’ as well as her involvement in pulling together the strategy to secure Historic England Heritage Action Zone status for Longton town (one of just eight).

The nomination highlights Abi’s involvement in the #Stokeisontheup narrative that she’s championed since 2015, looking to grow the local economy through eye catching initiatives, talks about how ‘diminutive in height, her appetite for big strategic projects and getting stuck in can’t be underestimated…’

“I’m amazed to be shortlisted again – it’s always lovely to get recognition for things you’ve been involved with, but really I’m just doing what I’ve been elected to do by local residents. I love Stoke-on-Trent and just want the very best for our city. My cabinet role of finance and partnerships means I have been able to work with lots of different organisations over the last few years on ensuring services locally continue to be both good value and good quality,” said Abi.

“The success of Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone is down to the enthusiasm and hard work of all the partners involved – land owners, developers, occupiers working alongside the Council. Bringing more jobs and businesses to the city is a win-win, and can only help make Stoke-on-Trent even better. It also raises the profile of the city, which again highlights how geographically well positioned the city is and the many opportunities we have here. All these things help bring money into the local economy, and ensure we can continue to provide services residents value. That’s what drives me – I want Stoke-on-Trent to be the success I know it can be.”

In 2017, Abi was shortlisted for the Place-Shaping and Environment Award, in recognition of her work on the city’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and securing Poppies: Weeping Window for Stoke-on-Trent. She was also shortlisted for the Hearts for the Arts: Best Local Authority Arts Champion – Councillor in 2018.