Business park planned for former iron works site

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Plans to build a new business park off the A500 in Stoke-on-Trent have been submitted by the city council.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has submitted a planning application for 10 units spanning almost 29,000 sq ft on disused land it owns near the current JCB World Logistics centre in Tunstall.

The units would be split into three blocks and would house research and development, light and general industrial and storage and distribution companies.

The site was formerly occupied by the Ravensdale Forge from around 1879 to 1924. Following the demolition of the forge in the 1920s the site remained disused. At some point between 1951 and 1968 the Goldendale Iron Works were established, including various buildings, tanks and an electricity substation.

All buildings and infrastructure relating to the iron works were demolished in the 1980s and the site has remained largely derelict since then.

Cllr Abi Brown, deputy leader of the city council and chair of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone Board, said: “Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone is one of the most successful in the UK, at the very heart of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s continuing economic growth. These units would be built on a speculative basis, which has been successful at other sites in the city, and I think shows the confidence there is in Stoke-on-Trent right now. We have seen a lot more speculative build schemes in the last 18 months than in previous years before, which is really encouraging.

“The zone has secured up to 2,000 jobs and is going from strength to strength, providing a huge boost to the area’s economy. The interest we have received from national and international businesses in all of the six sites is fantastic for this city.”

Cllr Janine Bridges, cabinet member for education and economy, said: “This proposed development shows how we are a forward-thinking council by driving economic growth and creating new, sustainable ways of generating income, which will be reinvested in other services.

“We have one of the fastest growing economies outside of London and our strategies are working, but we are determined not to stop. This will be a further boost to jobs and investment, which is great news for the local workforce and young people moving into the world of work. We are passionate about economic growth in the city.”

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost said: “The Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone is a flagship project for the LEP, linking together six key sites along the strategic A500 corridor to accelerate investment in a wide range of employment sectors, and we are delighted with the rapid pace of progress. The plans for Chatterley Valley east in particular provide some great opportunities for start-up and growing local businesses.

“The Enterprise Zone is good news for our economy in stimulating inward investment, driving business growth and creating more and better jobs for local people. It is strengthening the reputation of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire as a great location with excellent transport links, an enthusiastic workforce and a positive, forward-thinking approach to innovation and growth.”

A decision on the application is expected in the summer.

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