More jobs as near full employment continues in county

MORE major business developments set to get under way in Staffordshire will deliver more jobs as near full employment continues in the county.

Latest statistics issued today show that just 1.4 per cent of Staffordshire residents claim out of work benefits – lower than both regional (3.0 per cent) and national (2.4 per cent) averages.

County economic growth leader Mark Winnington said planning approval for major business developments meant more job opportunities will soon be created.

The Chatterley Valley development near Newcastle is set to generate over 1,800 jobs. Harworth Group had plans approved for the site off Peacock Hay Road close to the A500 in January.

The development will see units of varying sizes up to around 500,000 square feet built for industrial and distribution uses, alongside complementary food and drink uses.

Chatterley Valley is part of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone and is a key strategic site for the county council and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Meanwhile in the south of the county, construction work is beginning at Liberty Park in Lichfield – a site which will see £38million investment and generating up to 1,000 jobs. It is ideally located next to the A38 and Lichfield Trent Valley station.

The county council, working on behalf of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, built a replacement road bridge over the West Coast Mainline which provides all vehicle access to the site.

Coun Mark Winnington said: “We have begun 2019 with near full employment and this good news is bolstered by planning approval of new developments and building work beginning.

“The Chatterley Valley scheme will generate up to 1,800 jobs in Staffordshire and become another key site for growth in the county.

“Liberty Park in Lichfield is one of our key Local Growth Fund projects and provided essential infrastructure in the form of the access bridge. Now work is under way on site meaning businesses will soon be operating there.

“As a council we will continue to focus our efforts on ensuring people can access better skilled, better paid jobs in Staffordshire.”