Following the successful completion of the first wave of city deals in July 2012 with the “core cities”, the Government committed to work with a further 20 cities and their wider areas to negotiate a second wave of city deals in October 2012.
I can today inform the House that the Government, local businesses, universities and civic leaders from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire have reached agreement on a city deal.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire city deal is built around a flagship proposal for the UK’s first at-scale, low-carbon, heat network system. This will support Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s world famous advanced manufacturing and applied materials sectors and the emerging energy and renewable growth sector.
The city deal will also provide local and incoming businesses with support to develop the next generation of products and materials; bring employers and education providers together to ensure residents have the skills and training they and local businesses need to drive the economy forward; and prioritise local sites for new and existing business to expand into, along with strengthened local planning and development policies.
Business and civic leaders in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire estimate that the city deal will generate 45 GWh of heat energy and achieve energy efficiency savings of 49,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum; make available over 100 hectares of employment land each with its own enabling energy project; deliver 3,900 additional apprenticeships and 1,100 traineeships for young people aged 16 to 23; provide support and advice to 1,300 businesses. Local authorities and businesses believe that these measures can help create up to 23,000 jobs over the next decade.