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Mark Winnington at MIPIM 2018

Promoting Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire on the world stage at MIPIM

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Opportunities to bring jobs and growth to the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire area will be promoted by the Local Enterprise Partnership to business investors and developers at a major international event in France next month.

Investment team Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire will be flying the flag for the region on the global stage at the MIPIM conference and exhibition in Cannes, supported by leading local firms which are joining its delegation and helping to sponsor the visit.

MIPIM, which runs from March 12 to 15, is Europe’s largest exhibition and conference for property professionals and provides a marketplace for UK and international investors to meet, discuss projects and opportunities, and do business.

The MIPIM event attracts more than 26,000 delegates from 100 countries and is attended by government ministers, local authorities, inward investment bodies and LEPs as well as businesses in order to attract investment into the UK.

For the third year running Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP will be joining forces with nine other LEPs across the Midlands to exhibit together in a high-profile Midlands UK pavilion, ensuring that the region has the big presence required to compete with other global destinations.

The LEP will also be promoting the area’s attractions to investors, including Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s major industrial and commercial sites and development opportunities, at a range of special events, meetings and briefings during the Cannes exhibition. Investors can get a real taste for the area at these presentations, with the chance to sample produce supplied by local firms including Povey’s Oatcakes, plus wines from Buzzards Valley Vineyard, Tamworth, and ales from Lymestone Brewery, Stone, and Titanic Brewery, Stoke-on-Trent.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost CBE commented: “MIPIM is an important showcase for the LEP and our partners so that we can raise the profile of our area on the world stage. Having a presence in the Midlands Pavilion means we can achieve a much bigger impact while retaining our own distinctive identity.

“It is vital that we are active in generating a continuing flow of new investment into Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, and promote growth opportunities to a national and international audience, so that we can create more and better jobs for local people.

“Our prime location at the centre of the country makes this a great place to live, work, invest and do business, and we have a very impressive case to make to international investors.”

Councillor Abi Brown, deputy leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “There will be a significant presence again at MIPIM from Stoke-on-Trent, and chatting to those businesses who are attending, it is fantastic to hear them talking of their successes in investing and growing in our city. The opportunities and profile that MIPIM provides is a great opportunity to showcase the exciting things happening here on an international stage, supported by the Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire team. The confidence shown by big businesses in choosing Stoke-on-Trent as their home and the significant investment that is taking place across the city is ensuring we make and create a great city for people in Stoke-on-Trent today and in the future. MIPIM is a great opportunity to help us achieve this.”

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Councillor Mark Winnington said: “MIPIM provides the perfect platform to sell Staffordshire to a global audience. There are numerous successes to showcase from our county, which plays a vital part in the working of the Midlands Engine.

“And as part of the Midlands Engine delegation we will be able to present Staffordshire’s case to investors as part of a strong regional partnership, supported by colleagues from the Department for International Trade. This also enables us to achieve the best value for money during our time at the event.

“It is important that we have an effective presence at MIPIM as it is the preferred forum for international businesses to hold in depth discussions with local authorities and LEPs.

“We will ensure delegates are left in no doubt about Staffordshire’s many strengths including its excellent connectivity, skilled workforce, world-leading leading businesses and development opportunities. Skills are increasingly ever more important in our offer to future investors and that is why we are taking our two local universities to MIPIM.

“We will of course be demonstrating how strong partnerships between the public and private sectors are essential in delivering economic growth with associated infrastructure and making Staffordshire a better place to live and work.”

Business sponsors supporting the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire delegation include Knights, Faithful & Gould, St Modwen, VXFIBER, Engie, Solarplicity, Wardell Armstrong, Nordic Heat, Virgin Trains, Genr8, Harworth Group, A&J Mucklow, Glancy Nicholls Architects, PHD Architects and Fieldfisher LLP, plus Keele and Staffordshire universities.

The Midlands UK pavilion will showcase investment opportunities worth £11 billion across the region. More than 70 public and private sector partners and the Department for International Trade (DIT) will join the LEPs in representing the Midlands. The region’s presence is being coordinated by the West Midlands Growth Company, with key partners including Birmingham Airport and East Midlands Airport, and the Midlands Enterprise Universities Group.

The Midlands UK pavilion will have separate sections for each destination partner, and an event space to host a busy programme of events, including presentations, receptions and panel discussions.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire events include presentations on developments around Keele University, including the Keele Growth Corridor and New Keele Deal; Stafford Station Gateway, improving access around the county town’s railway station and opening up employment and housing sites; Rugeley Power Station redevelopment, and the i54 South Staffordshire western extension.

Investors will hear that one million square feet of commercial space is in the planning pipeline in Stoke-on-Trent, showing the private sector’s confidence in the city. Opportunities to be showcased include large developments at Unity Walk in the city centre, Stoke Station gateway scheme, Swift House in Stoke, Smithfield in Hanley and the council’s bid for a share of the government’s multi-million pound Transforming Cities Fund, to improve public and sustainable transport and planting the seeds for the next stage of the Stoke Station scheme. There will be updates on Staffordshire University’s £40m apprenticeship hub, and the work gathering pace to create a smart, sustainable city through the £52m district heat network, which is improving energy security and making the city a distinctive and attractive place in which to invest.

There will also be updates demonstrating how the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone has created 1,000 jobs since 2015, with 1,000 more in the pipeline and has remediated 44 hectares of brownfield land, with 23 hectares developed out.

Sir John Peace, Chairman of the Midlands Engine, said: “MIPIM provides a platform from which we can showcase the many strengths of the Midlands to a wide audience. Our economy, which has remained strong and resilient, presents a compelling offer to potential investors.

“The Midlands is already a highly competitive investment destination. By attracting more investors, developers and businesses, we are able to improve our infrastructure, innovation and productivity – creating a stronger economy for all.”

Stafford Heavy Lifting Company Posts Higher Revenues

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Revenue at a global heavy lifting giant which has operations on every continent and is headquartered in Stafford surged towards the £200m mark during its latest financial year, new accounts have revealed. The company has worked on projects including the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

ALE UK Holdings was founded by Roger Harries in 1983 and has more than 40 branches across the world, employing 1,353 people.

The global headquarters is based in Stafford while it has operations across Europe, The Middle East, Africa, North and South America, Australia and South East Asia.

In newly published accounts for the year to 31 March 2018, the business posted a revenue of £194m, up from £183.5m while its pre-tax profits dipped from £12.1m to £9.4m.

The company has worked on several high-profile projects including the Earls Court residential redevelopment in London, the RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship and Mordovia Arena for the 2018 World Cup.

A statement signed off by the board said: “The group continued to deliver a strong performance in difficult market conditions.

“Performance has been driven by enhanced utilisation of our innovative market leading ‘Super Assets’ including the AL.SK Cranes, Mega Jack and other lifting systems as well as diversification into emerging markets and geographies.

“We have again demonstrated the benefits of having a clear growth strategy, strong portfolio model and the delivery of engineering from our core capabilities of smarter, safer and stronger.

“In most geographies, the group have strong visibility of future projects that supports investment decisions and planning.

“The downturn in market conditions within Canada being one example where ALE scaled down operations commensurate with the activity levels in that market.

“The directors are cognisant of the factors underpinning yield curves within the various markets in which it operates and how this may affect investment within its customer base.

“The directors are confident in the company’s ability to deliver its strategy and that the global market for ALE services will remain strong with innovative heavily lifting techniques supporting the demand for operational efficiencies within customer projects.

“The group positions resources to respond to these opportunities.”

Stoke-on-Trent named in top 15 best cities to start a business in the UK

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Stoke-on-Trent has been named as the sixth best city in the UK to start a business in 2019, beating rivalling cosmopolitan cities including London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.

Research conducted by card payment solutions provider, Paymentsense, ranked cities based on factors such as business survival rates, weekly salary, average costs of rent for a one-bed apartment, population and the number of employed adults.

It was found that 39.3 per cent of businesses in Stoke-on-Trent survive their initial five-year start-up period, 3.2 per cent more than those in Glasgow, and 1.8 per cent more than those in Manchester.

It is also noted that the city’s heritage as the home of England’s ceramics industry and the canal network have boosted tourism and played a large part in making it a desirable place to start a company.

Cabinet member for education and economy, councillor Janine Bridges said: “It’s fantastic that we are one of the top cities in the country for new businesses to launch, grow and flourish.

“We work hard to help businesses to locate in the city and provide tailor made support to meet the needs. The Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone is one of the fastest growing enterprise zones in the country and we have a number of employment sites ready for development.

“I look forward to welcoming many more business owners in the future to continue to build upon the on-going transformation of our city.”

Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, councillor Ann James said: “It’s brilliant to see Stoke-on-Trent being recognised for its great business potential and opportunities for budding entrepreneurs.

“Last year, the city was listed as one of the top 12 places for city living in Britain, and came 16th in a YouGov study that asked more than 55,000 people if they liked particular cities across England, Wales and Scotland.

“It’s evident from all of these acknowledgements that Stoke-on-Trent really is on the up.

“There are so many opportunities and exciting business developments happening and in the pipeline, including the regeneration of Unity Walk and the brand new four-star Hilton hotel in the city centre.

“We are committed to developing our business opportunities and to bringing more people into our city.”

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Job boosting scheme set to become latest Staffordshire success story

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A major business development is set to generate over 1,800 jobs in north Staffordshire after plans were given the go-ahead yesterday.

The Chatterley Valley scheme next to the A500 in Newcastle was approved by the borough council. Harworth Group submitted the application for the site off Peacock Hay Road.

The development will see units of varying sizes up to around 500,000 square feet built for industrial and distribution uses, alongside complementary food and drink uses. Chatterley Valley is part of the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone and is a key strategic site for the county council and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “Approval of the Chatterley Valley scheme is more great news for Staffordshire early in 2019 following on from the i54 South Staffordshire western extension being given the go ahead this month.

“This is a significant development as it lies within an Enterprise Zone making it highly attractive to business and the site has excellent connectivity.

“Over 1,800 jobs are set to be generated and so we look forward to seeing construction work get under way as soon as possible.”

Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE said: “This is a great step forward for the LEP’s flagship Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone and for our region as a whole. We are seeing more and more developments gathering pace, bringing jobs, new homes and economic growth to Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

“Our priority now as a LEP is to secure the highly skilled, high value jobs that will ensure a thriving future for local communities.”

FGD-1

Business backs plans for employment site’s major extension

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A Staffordshire business which was involved in the development of one of the county’s leading employment sites has backed plans for its extension.

The western extension plans for i54 South Staffordshire have now been passed by South Staffordshire Council.

Aggregates and waste material solution firm FGD, which is based in Wombourne, is supporting the extension plans for i54 South Staffordshire having worked on the original site construction.

The business has taken on 11 new employees since its involvement with i54 South Staffordshire. It has also developed three apprentices who all live within five miles of its Wombourne headquarters.

FGD’s work during construction involved removing 200,000 tonnes of soil from the site and taking on 200,000 tonnes of stone. It also removed contaminated soil which was processed and reused – saving £500,000 in tip costs.

Since it took on the i54 South Staffordshire contract in 2012, FGD has seen its annual turnover increase from £9m to £23m. The i54 contract has directly contributed between £6m and £7m. This has allowed the company to invest in new technology to improve efficiency.

FGD is now looking forward to further growth plans and local expansion, taking on more employees and apprentices. It has a second office in Rugby and customers across the country.

The company used a Wombourne business to livery its vehicles, a local business to design its website and a building firm from Kinver to expand its offices.

Spencer Davies, director of FGD, said: “FGD Limited firmly believes in investment in local people and promoting within. This core ethos only happens when growth happens locally to. Such further investment into the i54 site will allow this to continue for many years.”

More than £1 billion has so far been invested in the current i54 site, with 2,500 people employed by multi-national companies JLR, Moog, ISP, Eurofins, ERA and Tentec with a further 2,100 jobs anticipated over the next few years. Over 3,500 students have also benefitted from a targeted skills and education programme.

i54 and its expansion play an integral part of the Midlands Engine strategy to maximise the economic potential of the area.  It is also backed by both the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and Black Country Local Enterprise Partnerships and local businesses.

Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins said: “The success of i54 South Staffordshire has been outstanding – attracting global leaders in their sectors and thousands of skilled jobs.

“While we celebrate the fact that these businesses are located here, i54 South Staffordshire has a huge impact across our area as the experience of FGD demonstrates.

“From construction firms to supply chain industries and retail and leisure establishments; this business park leads to a thriving local, regional and national economy and all the opportunities that brings for local business and people.

“We are proud of how the local government partnership worked together to achieve this and we have been rightly recognised by Government and the business community.

“It is therefore no surprise about the demand to locate here – and the subsequent need for expansion. i54 South Staffordshire will play a vital part in the Midlands Engine and in the growing productivity of Staffordshire and our neighbours.”

City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: “i54 is one of the UK’s premier advanced manufacturing business parks.

“Our joint investment at i54 has secured hundreds of millions of pounds of further investment and has brought thousands of jobs to the area, with 40 per cent of employees living within a ten-mile radius.

“Demand is high for more accommodation from potential investors and the western extension will enable us to deliver that for the benefit of local residents and businesses.”

i54 extension plan

Green light for extension at major Midlands business park

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An extension to a major Midlands business park which could generate around 1,700 jobs and lever in up to £300 million of investment has been given the go-ahead.

Work to extend i54 South Staffordshire by around a third of its current size can now begin. Plans to extend to the west of the current site on the county border with the City Wolverhampton were announced early in 2018. They have now been approved by South Staffordshire Council.

When the extended site is fully built and occupied by businesses from a range of sectors, it could release up to £3 million a year in business rates – around half of which could be reinvested in funding public services. The first phase of the extension would create around one million square feet of new commercial business floor space.

The current site has a workforce of 2,700 people, with half of those being held by people living within a 10-mile radius.

Work on the western extension is scheduled to begin this spring and it is anticipated to be fully occupied by 2024.

Staffordshire County Council and City of Wolverhampton Council will work together on the extension development. The i54 South Staffordshire partnership also includes South Staffordshire Council.

In addition to the councils’ investment, there will be significant financial contributions from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.

An agreement to move forward with the development of plots and access to the extension site is set to be approved today.

Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins said: “The i54 South Staffordshire western extension is another great project for us and has taken considerable and detailed planning. Planning approval therefore is a huge milestone for our partnership and good news for everyone.

“This was a logical move for us as we know there is high demand from businesses from a range of sectors. We anticipate the western extension could generate up to 1,700 jobs and lever in up to £300million in private investment. A fully occupied site could release total business rates of up to £3million a year, with around half of this reinvested to help fund public services.

“Now we can get on with the job of securing funding and getting started with site development. An expanded i54 South Staffordshire will play a key part in regional economic growth and the workings of the Midlands Engine.”

City of Wolverhampton Council leader Roger Lawrence said: “i54 is one of the UK’s premier advanced manufacturing business parks and this major news means we can now build on it success.

“Our joint investment at i54 has secured hundreds of millions of pounds of further investment and has brought thousands of jobs to the area, with half of employees living within a ten-mile radius.

“Demand is high for more accommodation from potential investors in a number of sectors and the western extension will enable us to deliver that for the benefit of local residents and businesses.”

Brian Edwards MBE, leader of South Staffordshire Council, said, “I’m delighted that the Council’s planning committee has granted outline planning permission for the extension. There has been considerable engagement and consultation with local people and stakeholders and the committee was satisfied that the plans represent a considerable economic opportunity for local people and businesses.

“The area’s world-class connectivity, growing local economy and dedicated and skilled local workforce base are clearly of exceptional interest to major investors and the planning committee was supportive of the planning permission extension, which will help realise the full potential of i54 South Staffordshire.”

The western extension scheme will also bring a plan to boost employment skills, training and recruitment to local people with a £150,000 contribution – helping them to access the newly generated jobs.

More than £1 billion has so far been invested in i54, with 2,700 people employed by multi-national companies JLR, Moog, ISP, Eurofins, ERA and Tentec with more than 4,000 jobs anticipated on the existing site when it has been fully built out over the next few years.

Over 3,500 students have also benefitted from a targeted skills and education programme.

Stoke-on-Trent in Business Rate Pilot

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Stoke-on-Trent City Council has welcomed news that it’s to be one of only 15 areas nationally to benefit from a new government business rate pilot. The award has been given as a result of successful growth in business rates within Stoke-on-Trent in recent years.

Through the one-year pilot, up to 75 per cent additional business rate revenue generated from business growth in 2019/20 in the city will be retained by the council with government retaining 25 per cent of rates. This compares with 100 per cent that government retains currently.

It is estimated that the pilot would result in £5m of one-off additional funding for the city council, final details of the exact amount are being worked through.

The pilot comes following a successful bid put forward jointly in July 2018 with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Staffordshire Police and 10 other local authorities in the wider geographical area of Staffordshire.

The council will also receive a windfall payment for business rates collected and paid over to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) (previously Department for Communities and Local Government) since 2013/14.

Cllr Abi Brown, deputy leader for Stoke-on-Trent City Council and cabinet member for finance and partnerships said: “This bid has been successful because of the growth of business rates in the city. We’ve shown government that Stoke-on-Trent is on the up and that this is a great place to do business.

“More businesses are growing or relocating in Stoke-on-Trent and that’s good news for the city and for the city council. It shows we are a commercial council standing up for business but also masters of our own destiny. The extra funding will go towards meeting our wider financial challenges and providing essential services such as for children in care, for older people or for those with learning disabilities who require social care support.  It’s a win-win situation.”

Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said: “We are taking action to build a fairer, more self-sufficient and resilient future for local government.

“I’m pleased to announce a new series of 75% business rates retention pilots across England, including in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to help run local services.

“These pilots lay the foundation of our ambition to roll out 75% business rates retention across the country from 2020, so every council will have greater financial freedom to invest where they have the greatest need.”

McArthurGlen

Next phase of £15million road improvement works set to start in Cannock

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A major road scheme in Staffordshire to provide access to a new £160 million retail development and improve traffic flow on the roads around is progressing to its next phase.

The works being carried out by the county council will pave the way for the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Cannock, which is set to be completed in 2020.

McArthurGlen has committed £15milliion to the improvement scheme, taking place at Churchbridge and the A460 Eastern Way.

From Monday December 3, Hayes Way will be closed from the junction of Eastern Way to Pheasant Way so work can be carried out safely. The closure will be in place for the duration of the works. Bus companies have been notified and people are being advised to check diversions with bus operators if their route runs along Hayes Way.

By closing this junction, the project team will only need to have three-way temporary signals, rather than four-way. This will significantly reduce waiting traffic when compared with four-way signals.

The closed link means that traffic will be unable to join the A460 from Hayes Way and be unable to turn into Hayes Way from the A460 island. Local traffic will need to use the alternate routes of Hayes Way and Heath Way to access the Lichfield Road A5190 or the Hednesford Road B4154. The A460 will remain open to traffic.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher said: “The McArthurGlen Designer Retail Outlet is a hugely important development for Staffordshire and the wider region. It will create jobs and bring visitors into Cannock, boosting the local economy.

“The road improvement scheme is therefore vital in paving the way for the development. Undoubtedly it will create some disruption in the area but it is a necessary part of the development. Traffic management has been carefully planned to minimise disruption as much as is possible.

“Closure of the Hayes Way junction will ensure there is much better traffic flow on the A460 and prevent any confusion that would be caused by frequent changes to traffic management.

“We would ask people to allow additional time if traveling along this section of the A460 and would like to thank people for their ongoing patience.”

Cannock Chase District Council granted planning approval for a designer outlet at Mill Green in September 2016 following extensive consultations with the local community. On-site construction of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Cannock started this summer. When it opens in 2020, this new landmark retail destination and community hub will create 1,000 jobs for the local area.

The county council and development partner Amey are carrying out the road infrastructure works, which will include;

  • Access works and improvements on the A460 Eastern Way, Churchbridge interchange and Orbital Way.
  • Widening the A460 Eastern Way to a dual carriageway and creating slip roads to the designer outlet.
  • A new underpass and access to the site from the A460. New footpaths and cycle ways will also be installed. Before the underpass is built, a temporary road will be built so no closures of the A460 are needed during peak times and traffic can continue to flow.
  • Widening both the eastern and western A460 legs at the Churchbridge junction to provide two lanes in both directions
  • Widening Orbital Way on the eastbound side, improving the Lodge Lane and Churchbridge roundabouts and installing new toucan crossings on Eastern Way.
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Developer backs ‘Stoke-on-Trent Remembers’ campaign with £10,000 cash boost

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St. Modwen has pledged £10,000 to support the four-year initiative, which has seen a host of activities take place across the city.

As part of the commemorations, Stoke-on-Trent City Council unveiled six 8ft tall silhouettes, made from galvanized steel. Created by local artist Andy Edwards, the silhouettes depict servicemen from the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent (Burslem, Fenton, Hanley, Longton, Stoke and Tunstall) with a passage that describes their valiant contributions and experiences in the conflict.

The panels will be will be installed in the servicemen’s home towns.

‘Stoke-on-Trent Remembers’ also encompasses community events, with open days at the restored Bethesda Chapel, an art exhibition titled ‘For The Fallen’ at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and a concert of celebration on Armistice Day to remember the city’s heroes.

St . Modwen has established strong ties with Stoke-on-Trent since being appointed to develop the 1986 Garden Festival site and has created successful commercial developments at Festival Park, Etruria Valley and Trentham Lakes. The developer is also behind the revitalisation of the Trentham Estate and Gardens.

The Trentham Estate team recently unveiled a ‘Thank You Wall’ at Trentham Shopping Village, with the opportunity to purchase and place a poppy sticker on the wall, with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.

Guy Gusterson, property director, Midlands and North, St. Modwen, said: “We’re passionate about giving back to communities in the areas we develop and are delighted to honour the proud history of Stoke-on-Trent. This November marks a very poignant anniversary and we’re pleased to be able to support the council in bringing about new ways to remember the servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

£15 million highway improvements programme set to begin in Cannock

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Major works to provide access to a new £160 million retail development and improve traffic flow on the roads around it are set to begin next week.

Cannock Chase District Council granted planning approval for a designer outlet at Mill Green in September 2016 following extensive consultations with the local community. On-site construction of McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Cannock started this summer. When it opens in 2020, this new landmark retail destination and community hub will create 1,000 jobs for the local area.

As part of the development, McArthurGlen has committed £15 million to a highway improvements programme to facilitate additional traffic and ease congestion on roads. The county council and development partner Amey will carry out the road infrastructure works, which will include;

  •  Access works and improvements on the A460 Eastern Way, Churchbridge interchange and Orbital Way.
  • Widening the A460 Eastern Way to a dual carriageway and creating slip roads to the designer outlet.
  • A new underpass and access to the site from the A460. New footpaths and cycle ways will also be installed. Before the underpass is built, a temporary road will be built so no closures of the A460 are needed during peak times and traffic can continue to flow.
  • Widening both the eastern and western A460 legs at the Churchbridge junction to provide two lanes in both directions
  • Widening Orbital Way on the eastbound side, improving the Lodge Lane and Churchbridge roundabouts and installing new toucan crossings on Eastern Way.

Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “This is a major road project which is supporting the development of what will become a big regional and national visitor attraction for Cannock and Staffordshire.

“It is a county council priority to ensure we have a thriving economy and McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cannock will play an important part in this – bringing people into Staffordshire and making a positive impact on the county. The project is also bringing in improvements across the wider area which is good news for the community.

“The highways works are absolutely essential to the delivery of the overall development. We will see a significant increase in traffic around the area and this scheme will provide suitable access to the site and improve traffic flow on surrounding roads. Our highways team has put in a lot of careful planning to this project and as part of this will be the construction of a temporary road to ensure there is no closure of the A460 while the underpass is built.

“With any project of this size there will be some disruption, so we would ask people to bear with us during these essential works. Once completed, the road network around the site will help to ensure the designer outlet is a success.”

The improvement and infrastructure works are scheduled to start on November 12 and are set to complete in 72 weeks.

People can sign up for email updates on the project using the sign up to alerts feature on the county council website homepage.

More information about the highways improvement scheme can be found on the county council’s transport pages at www.bit.ly/2qxImaJ or people  can contact 0300 111 8000.

For information on the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cannock people can visit designeroutletcannock.com

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