idappcom establishes base at Keele University Science and Innovation Park

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Midland-based IT company idappcom has established its Staffordshire base at the Keele University Science and Innovation Park.

Already leaders in the specialist field of corporate internet security, the company develops and markets advanced security software and solutions for smaller companies, homes and mobile computing.  Their solutions provide the level of protection usually only afforded by large companies and organisations with extensive IT teams, at a much lower price.

idappcomlogoidappcom’s team have years of experience of developing effective defences against the full array of ‘exploits’ – the basis for hostile attacks.

Through its base at Keele University Science and Innovation Park (KUSIP), idappcom is applying its capabilities to the fast-developing ‘internet of things’ – devices in our homes and offices that are linked to the internet.  Already TVs, CCTV and refrigeration may be internet-linked, but soon all manner of basic appliances are set to become smart.  Because of their relatively basic computing capabilities and low unit cost, such devices are often vulnerable to malicious attack.  The risk is set to grow as such devices become commonplace, giving rise, in idappcom’s view, to huge potential demand for cost effective protective solutions.

idappcom’s Chief Security Manager Simon Wesseldine, who is based at KUSIP, commented: “Keele is the perfect location, and the opportunities to engage with the School of Computing and Mathematics, the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) programme as well as with other leading-edge technology companies on the Science and Innovation Park are exciting and will help propel the next stage of our development.”


Mixed Use Planning Application in Newcastle-under-Lyme

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A planning application has been submitted to Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council for the redevelopment and transformation of the former Sainsbury’s and Civic Offices site in the town.

Plans envisage the creation of 65,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail space including restaurant and leisure facilities. Also included in the planning application is the provision of 513 student flats and parking for 200 cars.

The application has been submitted by HDD (Newcastle-under-Lyme) Ltd., a joint venture between Henry Davidson Developments  and regeneration specialists U+I. The planning application is expected to go before Planning later this year.

Plans revealed for new city centre living at Smithfield

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Plans have been unveiled to build two 11-storey ‘build to rent’ apartment blocks in the city centre – the first development of its kind in Stoke-on-Trent.

A public consultation has today (Monday, July 31) been launched about the proposed residential development at Smithfield, which will be delivered by developer Genr8 in partnership with the city council-owned housing company Fortior Homes.

The scheme has been designed specifically as a build to rent scheme to provide long-term private rental homes. The first residential block would deliver 151 apartments and consist of a mixture of one and two-bedroom units, with amenity space and communal gardens. There would also be leisure, commercial and retail opportunities on the ground floor, including a gym, office space and retail units.

The second building of 126 units, if approved, would be part of a future phase.

A planning application for the two blocks is due to be submitted to the city council in mid-August. Comments received during the consultation – which takes place until August 13 – will be considered for the final submission.

Fortior Homes is a private housing company established by the council to deliver high quality homes that address identified gaps in the private sector housing market. Delivering this scheme through Fortior Homes will generate income for the council, which can be used to support wider day-to-day service provision within the city. Fortior Homes will have a programme of ongoing activity in years to come, with this proposed scheme being an exciting early example.

Councillor Randy Conteh, the council’s cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “Historically there has been a lack of major residential development in Stoke-on-Trent’s city centre in comparison to similar-sized cities like Derby and Leicester.

“This would be a high quality development which will set a benchmark for similar schemes in the city and beyond, and importantly will remain affordable for people living or working in Stoke-on-Trent. It will primarily target 20 to 35-year-old single people and couples already living here, as well as those commuting here for work.

“The city centre is rapidly changing and has seen a lot of investment in recent years, from public realm improvements to new leisure developments such as the Hive, and the opening of new shops, restaurants and businesses – which is no more evident than in Piccadilly.

“One thing we need to improve is our city living offer, which currently falls behind compared to other cities. This will give the city centre permanent residents, who will increase footfall, support the local businesses and lead to further investment.

“This is a very exciting development for the city centre and Smithfield coming on the back of the Hilton Garden Inn plans being approved.”

Richard Ingham, partner at Genr8 Developments, said: “The delivery of high quality build to rent apartments is key to the ongoing regeneration of the city centre and wider Stoke-on-Trent economy.

“Alongside the delivery of the new Hilton Garden Inn these are really exciting times at Smithfield and as a result the scheme will undergo a further transformation over the course of the next couple of years.”

Plans can be viewed in the reception area at One Smithfield, where people can give feedback. Views can also be emailed to

The first phase of Smithfield Stoke-on-Trent, which included 210,000 sq ft of office space – now known as One Smithfield and Two Smithfield – was completed in August 2015 and is now occupied by the city council along with private sector companies. Further phases are now in the pipeline, including a 140-bedroom Hilton Garden Inn – which received planning permission in July 2017 – and the next phase of offices.

Further information about Smithfield Stoke-on-Trent can be found at

Plans Approved For New Factory For Stoke-on-Trent Company

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IAE, the Stoke-on-Trent head quartered manufacturer of livestock handling equipment, equestrian stabling, steel fencing and shelters has been given the green light to build a new 188,680 sq. ft. factory on its present site in Adderley Green, Stoke-on-Trent.

This new building will contain a fabrication facility and powder coating plant. The latter will enable the movement of products from one factory to another for final powder coating.

A council document recommending the plans for approval said: “The proposal would enable a local company to expand and retain its current operations on a single-site within the city, within a purpose-built structure that will be custom designed internally to meet their operational requirements.

“The principle of development is considered to be acceptable and aligns to national and local policy objectives which aim to support economic growth.”

Next phase of works to create access to Staffordshire employment site set to start

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The next phase of works to create access to a major new Staffordshire employment site will move to its next phase at the end of July.

Staffordshire County Council is carrying the works to improve access to the Four Ashes Business Park, paving the way for the relocation of automotive parts manufacturer Gestamp. The 52-acre site in South Staffordshire is being developed by Bericote Properties, providing 900,000 square feet of industrial floor space and accommodating over 1,000 jobs.

Access to the site will be off the A449 along Gravelly Way and improvements are being made to the junction. Funded by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Local Growth Fund, the work will involve creating a traffic signalled junction. In addition, toucan crossings will be installed and pedestrian and cycle routes improved.

In order for the work to take place safely, phased lane closures will be put in place and there will be a temporary 40mph limit in place on that stretch of road. There will also be some night-time closures of the A449 at the junction as well as six weekend closures. The first weekend closure will take place next Friday July 28, from 9pm until 5am on Monday July 31. The second will take place the following weekend, on Friday August 4 from 9pm until 5am on Monday August 7. All works will be completed by late autumn.

All works and traffic management will be suspended over the weekend of the V Festival, from midnight on Thursday August 17 to midnight on Monday August 21. Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “Work to improve access to the Four Ashes site continues at pace and the development of the new Gestamp facility is well under way. This will be yet another thriving hub for business and see more job creation in Staffordshire. Good access is vital to ensure we meet the needs of business and we are pleased to have been able to support Gestamp’s relocation and expansion within the county. These works have been coordinated with Highways England’s resurfacing of the A449 to minimise disruption and all works will be completed by late autumn. We’d like to thank people in advance for their patience through the works period.”

The project received a £1.91million allocation of the Local Growth Fund in addition to developer contributions.

Hilton Garden Inn Stoke-on-Trent city centre plans approved

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Work to build a Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Stoke-on-Trent city centre is set to start before the end of the year – after plans for the major development were given the green light.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has given planning consent for the 140-bedroom hotel, which will be built at the Smithfield development.

Plans for the hotel, which is expected to create more than 50 jobs, were first announced in March. The planning approval comes just days after Stoke-on-Trent celebrated being named as a finalist in the UK City of Culture 2021 competition. The hotel will not only deliver an economic boost to the area but also high-quality accomodation, which could be critical to the success of the 2021 bid, as well as providing meeting and conference facilities.

Cllr David Conway, leader of the city council, said: “I’m delighted the plans for this landmark hotel have been given the go-ahead. This will be a major milestone in the continued transformation of the city centre and will improve the hotel offer in Stoke-on-Trent, which is vital if we are to be successful with our UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

“In Hull they are expecting their programme of events to bring a million visitors to the city, so accomodation is something we have to seriously look at. However, even if we are not successful with our bid, this is one of the most exciting cities in the UK right now and we need to see our hotel and accomodation offer evolve to match our ambitions. For cities of similar sizes to us, it is an area where we fall behind at present.”

Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “Hilton Garden Inn is an international brand. To have such a company coming to our city shows the huge confidence there is from the private sector. Their presence alone will lead to further investment, and more businesses, coming to the city. I’m looking forward to work starting on site and seeing the positive transformation of this new development for Stoke-on-Trent.”

The new hotel will be delivered by Genr8 and the city council, showing leadership and intent by the city council to drive the economy and accelerate growth in the city. Genr8 will start the tender process to find the main construction contractor for the hotel in September. The new hotel is expected to welcome its first guests in 2019 and will be within walking distance of the main retail area, museum and theatres, and within a short drive to national attractions such as Alton Towers and Trentham Gardens.

Richard Ingham, partner at Genr8, said: “The news that planning consent has been granted is another important milestone in the delivery of the new Hilton Garden Inn and our wider Smithfield scheme. This is an exciting time for the city and Smithfield.”

David Frost CBE, chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “We are delighted to see rapid progress on the Hilton Hotel scheme. It will be a great asset in the continued transformation of Stoke-on-Trent’s city centre and a valuable boost to the UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

“Stoke-on-Trent has a rising national and international profile as a tourism destination thanks to its heritage, culture and vibrant ceramics sector, as well as the amazing countryside on the city’s doorstep. It is excellent news for our local economy that the city is developing the hotel and leisure facilities to match its tourism potential.”

Inward Investment Boosts Jobs Across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire

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Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is continuing its strong track record of success in attracting inward investment, creating or safeguarding nearly 1,500 jobs in the past financial year.

The latest figures from the Department for International Trade reveal that there were 21 successful foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership area in 2016/17, an increase of 16 per cent on the previous year. Through these investments 536 new jobs have been created and 948 jobs safeguarded.

In addition, the LEP secured three ‘multi-region’ FDI projects. Multi-region projects are those that create jobs in multiple UK locations but where it is not possible to identify the exact job numbers for each LEP area.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire has attracted significant investment from companies such as Kongsberg Automotive in Burton and GE in Stafford, leading to the creation of new jobs.

In addition, hundreds of jobs were safeguarded by automotive parts manufacturer Gestamp, following its decision to relocate within the county and build a new multi-million pound factory at Four Ashes in South Staffordshire.

Six of the investment projects in the LEP area are in the automotive sector, with two in advanced manufacturing, four in the food and drink sector, and four in business and consumer services.

The latest figures build on the LEP’s previous successes in attracting firms to invest and grow in our area. In 2015/16 there were a total of 18 successful foreign direct investment (FDI) projects which created 1,094 new jobs. And in the previous financial year (2014/15) there were 17 foreign investment projects, creating 889 new jobs and safeguarding a further 400 existing jobs.

LEP chairman David Frost CBE said the latest figures were yet more proof of the attractiveness of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire as a great location for businesses to invest and thrive.

“This is the ideal part of the country to do business, thanks to our central location, transport links and enthusiastic, skilled workforce,” Mr Frost commented.

“Our can-do attitude and successful partnership working with a range of public and private sector partners mean that we can smooth the way for businesses to invest and bring more and better jobs to our area.

“It is equally important to build long-term relationships with incoming and existing businesses so that firms established in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire remain here and continue to grow, with the help of our comprehensive packages of advice and assistance.”

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “It is hugely encouraging to see how we are going from strength to strength in attracting foreign investment and how the county council and local enterprise partnership have played an important part in achieving this success.

“The Department for International Trade has highlighted both Gestamp’s decision to relocate and expand in Staffordshire and GE’s expansion at the county council developed Redhill Business Park in Stafford as prime examples. Both companies are well established in Staffordshire and employ hundreds of skilled employees and so retaining them and supporting their expansion has been vitally important. We will continue to work hard for businesses operating in the county whilst making every effort to attract new investors.”

Economy boosting road project reaches further milestone

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A new access road which will pave the way for multi-million pound development, new jobs and relieve town centre congestion has reached another milestone.

Staffordshire County Council has now started the process of buying land along the Stafford Western Access Route, which will link the A518 Newport Road and the A34 Foregate Street north of the town centre. The new road will enable thousands of homes to be built and the delivery of the £500 million Stafford Gateway development. It will also ease congestion in the town centre, particularly around the railway station as it prepares for HS2 connection. The process of purchasing all sections of land could take up to 18 months.

The new road will be built on land between Martin Drive, Doxey Road and Foregate Street and is expected to be completed in 2021. Work to improve the Foregate Street and Browning Street junctions was completed last month. Other preparatory work for the road has included a flood compensation scheme at Doxey Marshes, which recently picked up an award from the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “This is another important milestone for the western access route project and when completed will mean we can begin construction on those sections. We can see how important this road is in the delivery of future regeneration in Stafford, particularly with the announcement last week of the £500 million Gateway scheme, which will transform the area around the station. It will also lead to the development of hundreds of much-needed homes in the county town and ease congestion around the station. We’re looking forward to starting the main construction towards the end next year.”

People can view plans and find out more at:


Speculative Development At Stoke-on-Trent Enterprise Zone

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Network Space, the developer of the Tunstall Arrow site in Stoke-on-Trent has signed a deal with Caddick Construction to build five units totaling 125,000 sq. ft.

The scheme, part of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, has one pre-let with Q-railing taking 40,000 sq. ft.

Cllr Abi Brown, the city council’s deputy leader and chair of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone Board, said: “The potential across the six sites is huge and we have active interest in each and every one of them from businesses and organisations which we are working on and looking to progress.

“The plans for Tunstall Arrow, which involve five employment units, will bring hundreds of jobs to the area and completely regenerate the site.”

Stephen Barnes, managing director of development at Network Space, said: “It’s really exciting to have committed to delivering a scheme of this scale which has been so carefully designed and specified.

“We are confident that Tunstall Arrow will be attractive to the occupier market, so little new space has been delivered over the last 10 years and none of this scale or quality.”

Businesses can find out how they can access support and create new industry hubs

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Small and medium-sized Staffordshire businesses can find out more about how they could get the backing to transform under-utilised buildings into productive use and access a range of support at an event next month.

The Grow Your Workspace workshop on July 27 will help businesses understand Staffordshire County Council’s Rural Enterprise Programme and how to apply for grants. There will also be a presentation by Cannock Chase Council’s planning team in addition to talks on the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Growth Hub and the Low Carbon Business Evolution Programme.

The Rural Enterprise Programme is making grants of between £10,000 and £65,000 available to businesses that can demonstrate they will create jobs as a result of a move to the refurbished building. Funding can also be used for new builds. Property owners can access grants if they have a business lined up to occupy their premise. The initiative is being coordinated by Staffordshire County Council, with funding coming from the European Regional Development Fund.

The event takes place at the Aquarius Ballroom and Function Suite, Victoria Shopping Park, Hednesford WS12 1BT, starting at 2pm. People can sign up for the event at:

Properties will need to be converted for manufacturing, creative or service industry use. The funding can be used for works to build or refurbish workspaces, build extensions, installation of services, access works, car parking and landscaping works needed for planning permission. Properties in all areas of Staffordshire are available, including the county’s towns. Grants are not available for retail, agriculture, tourism or residential end uses.

Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said: “It remains a top priority of the county council is to continue to support job creation, particularly better paid, better skilled jobs. The Rural Enterprise Programme is an addition to our package of support for small businesses, helping them to expand and create jobs. It will also add incentive to Staffordshire businesses to utilise existing buildings and further grow the county’s economy. July’s workshop will also give advice and guidance on how businesses can access a range of support. I’d urge people to attend and find out how the programme could make a difference to them.”

Anyone wanting to find out more should visit call 01785 277400 or email

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