Employment growth in Stoke-on-Trent has been named as the fastest in the UK, with 8,000 jobs created in the past five years.
The latest UK Powerhouse figures put the city above major metropolitan areas including London, Manchester and Birmingham. In a report by leading law firm Irwin Mitchell, jobs growth in Stoke-on-Trent even tops their previous predictions – last May their research projected growth for the final quarter of 2020 as the fourth fastest in the UK. But the company now forecasts that for the end of 2020, employment levels will reach 122,000 and year-on-year growth will be 2.2 per cent. It means that jobs growth in Stoke-on-Trent is faster than in 46 other major cities, including all UK capital cities*.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown said: “These figures show the tremendous confidence in our city; we’re the place to bring business and the place to do business. It shows our approach is working. Our Stronger Together vision for the city is built on a number of pillars including supporting our businesses to thrive by delivering investment in our towns and communities.
“Successes in Stoke-on-Trent include the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, with more than 2,000 jobs created in the past four years and the growing Smithfield site in the city centre, which is delivering over 1,000 high value jobs. There are really exciting developments at Smithfield, with a soon to open Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, as well proposals for new multi-million pound developments. Major development sites include the 10-acre prime city centre East-West Precinct, and Swift House, a prime residential and leisure site next to Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station which attracts more than three million travellers a year.
“Fortior Homes, a council-owned development company, is also turning brownfield sites into high quality mixed tenure housing schemes, including the first city centre high-end private rented accommodation at Smithfield. This is alongside a growing private sector-led housing offer, which complements our own ambitious housing plans that have seen completion of more homes in the last year than the average London borough.”
The UK Powerhouse findings also rank Stoke-on-Trent as the 16th best performing city in the UK for gross value added – a measurement of the value of the goods and services produced in the city. The report also comes at a time when Stoke-on-Trent is in the top 10 cities for floor space rental growth in the country.
Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for education and economy, said: “Our plan is working, we are delivering for our communities and allowing our businesses to grow at pace. Land values are incredibly competitive which together with our ‘can-do’ attitude and excellent strategic location is a big attraction for businesses. The increase in values demonstrates the growing confidence in the city and our exciting emerging market.
“We provide a tailor-made service, through our Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire team, creating the right environment for investment by helping businesses find locations, give advice on incentives and details about recruitment.
“We’re committed to working in partnership to ensure Stoke-on-Trent continues to be a great place to live, work and invest in.”
Councillor Brown added:
“It’s a hugely exciting time for the city. There is one million square feet of employment space in the pipeline and substantial, increasing demand for both housing and employment land. We are unashamedly shouting about the great development opportunities in Stoke-on-Trent and continue to work hard to bring in investment and high quality jobs to support our city’s economy and help our communities to grow. It shows once again that Stoke-on-Trent is a city on the up.”