500 new jobs set to 'Make It' to Stoke-on-Trent
MORE than 1,100 jobs have been created after firms were persuaded to relocate to North Staffordshire.
New figures show the Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire team has created a total of 1,194 since April – including 329 in Stoke-on-Trent.
Now the service has pledged to create at least 500 more jobs before the end of the financial year as part of the city council’s Mandate for Change.
The £800,000 scheme, joint-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and councils until 2015, pays for a nine-strong team of officers to lobby businesses to relocate to the county or city.
It works with businesses to find suitable land and premises, as well as helping bosses recruit to new positions using the city council’s jobs and training register.
The service records a job as being created when a company outside the area agrees to relocate, or major existing companies secure further investment which creates a new post.
Sara Williams, chief executive of the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The number of jobs created is fantastic.
“We work very closely with them to make sure businesses are getting the support they need.
“One of the best things they have going for them is the range they can offer to businesses, covering both the city and the county. They can put forward a large number of options for potential investors.
“They also advise businesses on things like facilities and schools for their staff.
“The region’s connectivity is one of its best assets and hopefully wherever in the county or city the jobs are created we can make sure people can get to them.”
John Willis, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s strategic manager for inward investment, manages the service. He said: “These are new jobs, created by an existing business which we have helped to expand or attracting new investment to the area. The businesses we are supporting range from small to medium companies to major multi-nationals. Small and medium enterprises have been a big part of the success.
“I expect us to reach our target of 1,700 jobs by the end of the financial year.
“It’s a partnership for the city and county. The city council makes a big contribution and every effort is made to ensure the city gets a good return.”
Officers have also been marketing the region at events like the national retail conference in Liverpool.
One of the firms the service has attracted was Total Network Solutions Europe, which left Crewe to move into bigger premises at Brock Way in Newcastle.
Owner Paul Forster said: “The help we got from the inward investment team was excellent. They clearly understand what we were looking for and worked hard to help us find and view sites.”