A NEW five-year plan between Stafford Borough and Staffordshire County Council will help create jobs for people in the town by boosting support and incentives for businesses.
The project will bring together regeneration, transport, education and cultural initiatives aimed at bringing new firms to the area and helping existing ones to grow and will build on the success the Tipping Street redevelopment, Bridge Street refurbishment and the Waterscape scheme in the town centre.
Councillor Mike Heenan, leader of Stafford Borough Council, said: “We have a common interest in promoting our borough and Stafford as the county town.
“We have worked closely with the county council on a number of successful projects and this deal demonstrates our commitment to continue doing so,” he said. “This is about economic prosperity and sharing the benefits of it with the people in our community.”
Under the new deal staff from the county council will work in tandem with district council colleagues to combine expertise on planning, design and buying land to attract future funding and investment.
County council leader Philip Atkins said supporting the economy and creating jobs for people in the county town was the top priority for the county council.
“For many years we have worked in tandem with Stafford Borough Council to regenerate the area, support businesses and improve the lives of local people,” he said. “This District Deal sets out how we will continue working together on a range of key projects over the next five years.
He said Stafford was one of a number of borough and district councils who had agreed to pool the money it collected from business rates to invest in projects like business parks, better roads and improved training for residents and businesses.
“In partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council we are also bidding for a for a wider charter for growth from the Government called a City Deal that will give extra powers and up to £1 billion of funding to do just that,” he said: “leaving no stone unturned in our drive to create more jobs and grow Staffordshire’s economy.”
The borough is also set to join a new Local Transport Board and Education Trust ensuring funding for transport, training and skills is spent where it is most needed.
Specific schemes the two councils will work together on include the development of the Redhill business park next to the M6, a new Stafford HQ for the county council’s Education Support Services joint venture with Capita alongside a community hub and wellbeing centre and sponsorship of a new academy, £6.2m investment in sustainable transport projects to ease congestion and continued work to promote and improve the town’s cultural offering and attract visitors to support the local economy.