The Northern Gateway Development Zone has taken another major step forward following a Government announcement.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has provided additional details on Phase Two of the HS2 rail link including further funding to support the development of a Growth Strategy for the Northern Gateway.
The Gateway brings together two Local Enterprise Partnerships (Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and Cheshire and Warrington) as well as seven local councils – including Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.
Jackie Sadek, Independent Chair of the Partnership, said the Northern Gateway is in the perfect place to become the UK’s premier growth hotspot.
She said: “We are opening up a new and rich vein of opportunity for business right at the heart of the national transport network. It is perfectly positioned at the heart of the UK economy. It really is ‘the place where the UK connects’.
“The Partnership welcomes today’s announcement which reaffirms the Government’s continuing commitment to realising the potential for HS2 to unleash an explosion of jobs and growth in the heart of the UK. One year on since its launch the project is no longer just a vision – it is a fact.
“Partners are ensuring the area is HS2 ready and have a clear vision of the associated regional connectivity required to ensure HS2 brings maximum benefit to the area. The partnership is building a solid and substantial Growth Strategy, ensuring the benefits of growth – industrial, commercial, housing, retail and leisure - are maximised across administrative, political and regional boundaries.
“This initiative is responding directly to the Prime Minister’s call for a more coherent and inclusive industrial strategy which delivers for all – not just the few.
Cllr. Elizabeth Shenton, Leader of the Borough Council, added: “The development of HS2 linked to our positioning on the country’s motorway network means we have unrivalled connectivity. This puts the areas in Staffordshire and Cheshire covered by the partnership in a strong position to collectively deliver 100,000 new homes and 120,000 new jobs over the next 25 years driven by HS2 investment.”
David Frost CBE DL, Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, said: “The Northern Gateway Partnership is working hard to ensure that the investment in HS2, combined with strategic investment in regional and local infrastructure, delivers economic growth and brings more and better jobs to our region.
“Today’s announcement provides even greater certainty and strengthens our ability to use HS2 as a springboard for further growth. We are already focused on boosting skills, jobs and business opportunities to create thriving and economically flourishing local communities that will be best placed to take full advantage of HS2.”