STAFFORD’S planned Western Access Road has been given the go-ahead today, after the government announced more than £82 million in extra funding for Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent.
The new road will connect the A518 Newport Road with the A34 at Foregate Street, and is designed to cut congestion around the Chell Road area of the town centre.
It will also open up access to further employment and housing sites.
Meanwhile funding has also been granted for a new roundabout junction on the A34 at Meaford, Stone, toimprove access to the Meaford employment site.
The growth deal agreed with the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership twill see £82.2 million invested in the area.
Nearly £21 million of funding has been confirmed in the first year, and the Government has provided an indicative award of a further £61.3 million of funding from 2016/17 onwards.
The projects which start in 2015/16 will help to create up to 5,000 jobs, allow up to 1,000 homes to be built and generate up to £10 million in public and private investment.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Deal is part of a £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies.
Local businesses and council leaders have been invited to open discussions immediately on the next set of projects to be funded, building on the momentum that has been established.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Growth Deals are a crucial part of our long-term plan to secure Britain’s future.
“For too long our economy has been too London-focused and too centralised.
Growth Deals will help change all that. They are about firing up our great towns and cities, boosting local economies and driving growth across the country.
“Building a new highway that will improve journeys into Stafford while boosting more housing and employment opportunities in the area.”
“By trusting local people, backing business and investing in infrastructure, skills and housing, we can create thousands of new jobs. And that means more economic security, peace of mind and a brighter future for hardworking people in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire.”
David Frost, the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP Chair said: “Today’s growth deal announcement sends out a strong message that Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is a leading area for business and job creation.
“We have worked closely with the Government and been able to demonstrate a strong business case based on evidence that we can turn projects around quickly to create jobs, drive up skills and attract additional investment.
“A lot of hard work has taken place to stimulate these areas and people can already see progress. This is a big investment by the Government and will make a real difference to business and communities. We now have to step up to the challenge to deliver for people and business, which is what this LEP is all about.”