The second South Staffordshire District Deal sets out a four-year plan which will also see the creation of a skills federation to enable young people to meet the needs of local employers and work clubs set up to support people back into employment.
It will build on successes achieved in the district at i54 South Staffordshire – now home to leading global businesses with a workforce of over 3,000 people – and at the Bericote Four Ashes site where automotive parts manufacturer Gestamp will be relocating its operations and 800 employees. With the former munitions site at Featherstone set for imminent development; the drive to attract new investment will continue as part of the deal.
The deal will demonstrate a commitment to ever closer working between the two councils as the move towards full locally retained business rates draws nearer. Its signing took place ahead of the start of the first Staffordshire Business Festival – a celebration of the county’s economic success and entrepreneurial drive.
Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins OBE said: "Our two councils already work closely together to bring in major investors and create the right environment for businesses of all sizes. The achievements at i54 South Staffordshire have been recognised as a leading national example of how councils can work together to bring jobs and investment to their area."
Councillor Brian Edwards MBE, leader of South Staffordshire Council, said: "I’m delighted that our two councils have signed the second District Deal for South Staffordshire. Building on the foundations of the original, this deal will help increase economic growth across the district and create conditions for new and existing businesses to thrive. Our strong partnership with Staffordshire County is helping deliver a skilled and prosperous district and together we are attracting more investment and jobs into the area."
Philip signed the deal with Brian Edwards MBE at the district’s award-winning Dunston Business Village. The village, run by Adrian MacLaughlin, is currently expanding, with 58 companies currently operating there.