Work is now under way to extend one of the county’s top employment sites, where there is potential to generate around 1,700 jobs. The current i54 South Staffordshire site has a workforce of 2,700 people with around half living less than 10 miles away.
Now the county council is working to create a new access road with preparation for factory platforms and services infrastructure works to follow next year. It is anticipated new occupiers could start arriving from 2022. In addition to supporting the creation of jobs, the extension will also lever in up to £300million of investment.
Figures released today show that just 1.8 per cent of Staffordshire working age people are claiming out of work benefits. This is lower than both regional (3.5 per cent) and national (2.7 per cent) averages.
Other employment sites the county council has supported by building infrastructure are thriving. They include Four Ashes in South Staffordshire, which is fully occupied, Redhill in Stafford and Kingswood Lakeside in Cannock.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “We have thriving business parks across Staffordshire and the success at i54 demonstrates why we need to extend it.
“Work is now under way and we look forward to new occupiers coming on site in just two years. Other sites we have been involved with are either fully occupied or nearly full. This ultimately means more jobs for Staffordshire people in the future.
“While we continue to build the foundations for business, we are also working with the local enterprise partnership and other organisations to ensure people have the skills they need to take advantage of growing opportunities. There are various targeted programmes which form part of our decade-long skills strategy and are already making a real difference.”