The latest phase of works to create access to a major new Staffordshire employment site will take place this week.
Staffordshire County Council is carrying the works to create access to the Four Ashes site, 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 is from 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 involves creating a traffic signalled junction. In addition, toucan crossings are being installed and pedestrian and cycle routes improved. Next week’s junction works will involve a weekend northbound closure.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said while the county continued to see near full employment, its focus is now to create better paid jobs. Today’s unemployment claimant count statistic for Staffordshire is just one per cent of the local population, lower than both regional (2.4 per cent) and national (1.9 per cent) figures.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “Our essential work to create access to the Four Ashes site is progressing on schedule as we see the new Gestamp building really start to take shape. This will be yet another thriving hub for business and see more job creation in Staffordshire. Without these access improvements the site could not be developed. We are pleased to have supported 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.”
In order for the work to take place safely, phased lane closures have been put in place and a temporary 40mph limit on that stretch of road. The first two weekend closures enabled work to be completed successfully. On Friday September 22 the northbound carriageway will need to be closed from 9pm until 5am on Monday September 25. Final closures will take place in October.
The project received a £1.91million allocation of the Local Growth Fund in addition to developer contributions.