THREE major employers in East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire have backed a ground-breaking plan for economic growth that will create more than 31,000 jobs.
Burton and South Derbyshire College, Trent and Dove and the National Memorial Arboretum are supporting the ‘City Deal’ scheme which offers councils and their partners greater freedom, funding and powers from Government to bolster their local economies, attract new business and create new jobs for local people.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council submitted their joint bid last month.
Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “Creating the right conditions for more private sector jobs and economic growth is our absolute top priority so we are delighted to make it through to the next phase of negotiations.
“The deal offers an excellent opportunity to build on and accelerate work already underway across the city and county to attract new businesses to the area, help our existing firms grow and thrive, and improve prospects for our residents.
“With greater powers and funding from a deal to invest in regenerating sites, to improve roads and other infrastructure, and to ramp up skills and training provision, we can make Staffordshire an international powerhouse in advanced materials production even faster.
“However, there is still a long way to go to and we will only sign on the dotted line if it is in the best interests of the entire city and county, and a deal that is right for local people.”
Its central premise is to make Staffordshire the key European centre for research and manufacturing of advanced materials, including ceramics, metals and polymers, thriving alongside other businesses and growth sectors in the region.
It will build on and accelerate existing work to support job creation and growth across the county.
The Government is due to decide which areas will secure a deal later this year with negotiations now set to begin in the next few weeks.