A MIPIM 2016 has been hailed a success for Make it Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Throughout the week between 14-17 March, numerous events and meetings were held focusing on major investment and development opportunities in the area. Two key events – the launch of the Northern Gateway Development Zone Prospectus (NGDZ) with Brandon Lewis MP and a round table hosted by Jackie Sadek, DCLG drawing a crowd of investors looking to get involved.
The NGDZ is a landmark partnership between 2 LEPS and 7 local authorities to promote the investment potential arising from HS2 infrastructure throughout Cheshire and Warrington, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Initially announced at Olympia in October 2015 by Baroness Williams and backed by Government, the NGDZ aims to unlock major new growth and investment opportunities which could deliver more than 100,000 new homes and 120,000 new jobs by 2040 with the creation of a new Growth Zone as the connecting gateway to the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine.
MIPIM 2016 saw the launch of the Midlands Engine Regeneration Opportunities Pitchbook, which included the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, ROF Featherstone and Branston Locks. Branston Locks is a proposed Sustainable Urban Extension to the Growth Point of Burton-upon-Trent in East Staffordshire by Nurton Developments. It is over 400 acres in size and will deliver up to 2,500 new houses, and 20 hectares (1 million square feet) of employment land suitable for B1, B2 & B8 development creating over 3,800 jobs. Work is scheduled to commence in May 2016 with the construction of a new bridge over the Trent & Mersey Canal, installation of new mains services and the access road into the main employment site. Construction of the first houses will be in early 2017.
Other significant news – announcement from United Utilities and Severn Trent Water establishing a joint venture to combine their non-household water and wastewater retail businesses into a single AL940m-turnover company, with its new headquarters to be based in Stoke-on-Trent.
Recent months have seen a genuine interest and appetite for the development of speculative industrial units in the area. Trebor Development are building a unit of 113,500 sq ft at Redhill Business Park. Triton will be completed by the end of 2016 and will include 12.5 metre eaves, 6 dock level doors and 4 ground level doors. In addition, St. Modwen have developed a 87,000 sq ft industrial warehouse speculatively at Burton Gateway and there is considerable interest in other sites across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.