The city of Stoke-on-Trent has been successful in all three of it's Levelling Up funding bids, securing £56m of investment.

Earlier in the week, Stoke-on-Trent's MPs and business leaders asked Rishi Sunak to give the city a £73.5 million windfall in this week's autumn Budget.

A joint letter was sent to the Chancellor ahead of his Budget speech this morning, making the case for Stoke-on-Trent's four bids to the Government's Levelling Up Fund to be approved.

The letter, which has been signed by city MPs Jack Brereton, Jo Gideon and Jonathan Gullis, says the return on investment of Stoke-on-Trent's bids will be 'second to none' in terms of the 'transformational effect' they will have in a city blighted with high levels of deprivation.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Alun Rogers, and Sara Williams, CEO of Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, have also signed the letter.

The three Stoke-on-Trent MPs also visited No 10 Downing Street last week to make the case for the city's Levelling Up bids.

Mr Brereton said: "We want to see fresh investment and opportunity in our city and we will not stop until Stoke-on-Trent gets what it truly deserves. We have made clear Stoke-on-Trent has been ignored for far too long and now must be our time."

Today (27th October), Rishi Sunak announced in the budget the following Levelling Up fund for Stoke-on-Trent:

The four Levelling Up Fund bids are:

  • £20 million for the City Centre Regeneration Area, encompassing the old Hanley bus station and East-West Precinct, which is set to include an indoor arena, hotel, apartments;

  • £16 million for the redevelopment of Swift House, next to Longton station, into the Goods Yard, including flats, offices, a hotel and a water-taxi stop on the canal;

  • £20 million to help bring vacant heritage buildings in Stoke, Tunstall and Longton including Tunstall Baths and the Crown Works pottery factory, back into use

Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Councillor Abi Brown included in her tweets: "Just amazing to hear @RishiSunak confirm what we always knew - ‘the great city of #StokeonTrent"

Statement:

Stoke-on-Trent City Council deputy leader Daniel Jellyman said: “We’ve secured £56m in Levelling Up funding, the largest government investment in Stoke-on-Trent since the A50 opened in 1998. We have always said that Stoke-on-Trent is a litmus test for levelling up, and the government has backed us. This money will support three hugely significant projects to bring about real improvements to the city and our local economy to grow for decades to come.

“The Chancellor in his address hailed Stoke-on-Trent as ‘a great city’, and the £56 million pounds will go towards delivering three great projects.

“£20m will go towards accelerating the city centre regeneration (former East-West Precinct site). It will enable the first phases of residential development to be built, key infrastructure improvements to take place and prepare the ground for the arena to be developed.

“£16m will go towards the Goods Yard, a hugely significant site for Stoke Town, the University Quarter and the station. It will enable this development to be turbo-charged, welcoming high quality commercial and residential space to the station area.

“£20m will go towards the town centres of Longton, Stoke and Tunstall. This will deliver almost two hundred new homes and commercial spaces on the Spode site in Stoke, Crown Works in Longton and the Tunstall Library & baths building. Delivering more homes in our town centres will drive up footfall and help increase footfall on these high streets for local businesses.  

“The work developing these bids has been supported every step of the way by our three MPs, and has been backed by business leaders and a wide range of stakeholders, all united in wanting what is best for Stoke-on-Trent.

“We have also been successful today in securing £50,000 with our neighbouring authority, Staffordshire Moorlands, towards a feasibility study for the Stoke-to-Leek railway line. Helping connect the Moorlands up with the thirteenth largest city in the UK.

“We’re really clear in our ambitions to deliver in each of these areas, and much work is already taking place. But national investment into Stoke-on-Trent means we can get on with this work much more quickly.

“The Chancellor’s announcements today show that the government has confidence in our ability to deliver as a City Council. We now have a ringing endorsement for our work. True ‘levelling up’ that is sustainable for the future means a commitment to long-term partnership, a shared vision of what our city could become and the resolve and funding to see it through.”

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