Ceramic Valley already attracting ‘significant interest’

National and international companies are already expressing an interest in the Ceramic Valley, less than a month since the area was granted Enterprise Zone status by government.

Deputy council leader Abi Brown has revealed that the city council is in talks with major UK and overseas companies about the potential of the site.

At the end of November the government announced Ceramic Valley as one of only 18 new Enterprise Zones across the country, despite massive competition.

The zone is a partnership between Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council. It comprises a chain of five enterprise development locations along the A500 corridor through the city and one in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Based on nationally recognised standards for business use floor space, the sites are large enough to accommodate 9,000 new jobs in the city.

Enterprise Zone status helps to reduce the costs and barriers to business growth, making the city a real pull for international investors.

The six areas will regenerate over 240 hectares of largely brownfield land, with the potential for over £2.5 billion of investment over the next decade.

Councillor Brown said: “Our phones haven’t stopped ringing since the announcement by government, and it is fabulous news that there is already such interest.

“We have had significant interest from UK and overseas companies, and that dialogue will continue. We are working hard to secure investment for the area.

“Attracting Enterprise Zone status is another shot in the arm for our city’s economy. We’re already one of the country’s fastest growing economies and this status shows the confidence from government in our achievements and future ambition.”

Elizabeth Shenton, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said, “Ceramic Valley is big news for North Staffordshire and what we are jointly trying to achieve for the economic future of the area.

“The first phase of the borough’s Chatterley Valley site is a key part of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone and has already seen the creation of the outstanding Blue Planet building, now a significant part of JCB’s global business.

“The next phase of the Chatterley Valley project is to deliver the 40 hectares of land to the west of the railway land and we are in talks with developer Harworth Estates about plans to bring this forward, both for large scale inward investment purposes and for small business accommodation.  Hopefully, this would help bring a further 1,500 jobs to the area.”