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Business site developments gather pace as near full employment continues

New Staffordshire business sites supported by the county council are preparing to accommodate hundreds of jobs as their completion gets closer.

With continued near full employment in Staffordshire confirmed today, development milestones at a number of sites are being reached on schedule.

On Monday next week, the county council is starting work to improve a junction on the A449 in South Staffordshire which will provide access to the Bericote Four Ashes development. Construction of Spanish automotive parts firm Gestamp’s new base is well under way. Utility diversions to the site have also been completed. Monday also sees the start of a junction upgrade on the A34 in Stafford as part of the Western Access Route project, which will enable housing and business development to take place on the western side of the town. In addition, the route will ease congestion, particularly around Stafford station which will link to the HS2 line.

Both i54 South Staffordshire and Redhill in Stafford are at near full-occupancy, with GE officially opening its first facility at Redhill last week. Site development is progressing at Meaford Business Park near Stone, while the county council’s highways team continues its work in building the new Branston Road near Burton which will serve a major business, housing and leisure development. The latest image of the new road layout has been issued today.

The latest unemployment claimant figure for Staffordshire released today is one per cent of the local population, compared to the West Midlands figure of 2.3 per cent and national 1.8 per cent. Meanwhile ONS figures show 2016 was the best year on record for the creation of start-up businesses in Staffordshire.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “The county council’s £250million investment programme in business accommodation and business park infrastructure, superfast broadband and skills development is helping to create new, higher-value jobs. While we’re rightly pleased to see the continuation of near full employment in Staffordshire, we are focused on increasing the number of better paid jobs. This is an exciting time for Staffordshire and everyone will be encouraged at the rate of progress across our business development sites. It means they can be operational, productive and bringing more employment as soon as possible.”

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