An agreement which builds on an established partnership to grow the economy in South Staffordshire and further strengthen communities is being formed by the county and district councils.
The South Staffordshire Growth Agreement follows on from two successful district deals between the councils over the last six years which set out a range of regeneration projects and initiatives to increase skills and prosperity.
Between 2014 and 2017, 8,000 jobs were created in South Staffordshire, not only within existing businesses but within the additional 350 businesses that are now located within the district. Average weekly earnings for a full-time worker in South Staffordshire increasing by £80 per week over the same period. The earnings of residents of South Staffordshire exceed both the regional and national averages and are the second highest of all the Staffordshire districts.
The new growth agreement will focus on continuing to grow the local economy with further development at sites such as i54 South Staffordshire, ROF Featherstone, Four Ashes and Hilton Cross in addition to developing a three-year education, employment and skills plan. It will also support the delivery of up to 4,000 new homes in the district and initiatives to improve health and wellbeing. The programme will help the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to formulate its local industrial strategy.
Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins said:
“Our strong and successful relationship with South Staffordshire Council has delivered results with national and regional significance in recent years. The near fully occupied i54 South Staffordshire site, and recent progress on a major extension to the business park, are bringing investment, income and higher skilled, better paid jobs to the area in just eight years.
“This new agreement sets out our combined strategy to grow and further develop South Staffordshire’s economy and its communities in a way that benefits everyone. Working together to plan for the future and combine our resources, our two councils will lay the foundations for long term prosperity and a great quality of life for people in South Staffordshire.”
South Staffordshire Council leader Brian Edwards MBE said: “The strength of our partnership working with Staffordshire County Council has helped to deliver major economic benefits to the district in recent years, including 8,000 new jobs since 2014 and average weekly earnings for a full-time worker in South Staffordshire increasing by £80 per week over the same period.
“This plan aims to build on those achievements through continued collaborative working to bring forward further long-term inclusive growth for our communities and businesses, supported by the necessary infrastructure to locally maximise the benefits of growth in South Staffordshire.”
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet is set to approve the growth plan at its meeting next Wednesday September 18.