A new Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone could bring 9,000 jobs to Stoke-on-Trent, city leaders said at the launch today.
The UK’s first Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone has already secured 1,000 new jobs in just six months.
It opened its doors to more than 40 businesses which could see as many as 9,000 jobs created in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
The new addition to Stoke joins another 44 Enterprise Zones across the country.
It is located along the A500 corridor and has been designed to create growth for the economy and employment sectors.
City leaders and politicians gathered at the official launch today at Moat House Hotel, Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent.
Cllr Abi Brown, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s deputy leader said: “I’m always really keen to talk about how Stoke is on the up.
“We estimate that the 9,000 jobs could be delivered across the six sites of the Enterprise Zone – the sky really is the limit for this area.
“We are able to use this new addition, and other things that are happening such as the poppies from the Tower of London that will be coming to Stoke.
“It really gets the eyes of the UK, and the world, back onto Stoke-on-Trent.
“I’m an avid tweeter and today I would hashtag “the best job in the world”.”
The six areas that will be home to Ceramic Valley will regenerate brownfield land, with potential for multi-million pound investments over the next few years.
David Frost, chairman of Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “As every day has gone on I’ve become ever more convinced that Stoke and Staffordshire is a great place to do business.
“The Ceramic Valley Enterprise will create an additional 7,000 jobs over the next nine years, hoping to meet our target for the LEP which is 50,000 jobs and growing the economy by 50% by 2021.
“I think the possibilities are endless, we have already seen job creation of 25,000 over the last four years, and the number of job seekers allowance has halved, so all the indicators point the right way.
“The Enterprise sends out a message that Stoke-on-Trent is a forward looking, dynamic area.”
Tristram Hunt, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, said: “What we hope the Enterprise Zone does is to entice businesses to set up here, we want to inspire people right across the UK to come and invest in Stoke-On-Trent.
“We have Keele University, Staffordshire University, Bet 365 and now the Ceramic Valley all of those are really attractive options for bringing talent into North Staffordshire.
“I hope to see more people staying in Stoke, building their professional lives, and family lives in this city.”
Pictures by Becky Coates