Economic development strategy

Business environment

We will continue to develop an economy in which the growth of innovative and niche businesses can flourish.

While we will continue to work with our partners in the SSLEP and the Constellation Partnership on sub-regional objectives, we will focus on the promotion of Newcastle's distinctiveness, as reflected in:

  • a unique town centres' offer working with the BID and Go Kidsgrove on specific marketing activities aimed at attracting inward investment, new business start-up in the town centres and specific support for our independent sector
  • a strong professional and financial services sector
  • provision of mixed housing in the town centre catering for all age groups
  • a thriving research based university and Science and Innovation Park with a maturing medical technologies sector

We will provide a co-ordinated approach to business support which puts business first and supplies a relevant mix of services.

We will continue to work with the SSLEP and with partners to develop a range of measures designed to support business development including:

  • promotion of the area as a premier investment location at a national and international level using the 'Make it' brand
  • continue to work with our single point of contact for business, the Stoke and Staffordshire Business Helpline and the Growth Hub Support for rural businesses through the Rural Enterprise Grants and the Leader programme
  • access to finance for business investment via the SSLEP and other partners
  • continue to support the annual Newcastle Business Boost competition
  • signpost businesses to appropriate sources of assistance, including those offered by us

Keele University and Keele Science and Innovation Park are both located within our borough. Together they make a unique contribution to the local area. The Stoke and Staffordshire strategic economic plan (SEP) identifies the Science and Innovation Park as the premier development site in North Staffordshire.

Keele University's strategic plan sets out how it will bolster its role as a centre of excellence, research, teaching and scholarship and boost economic growth, in particular innovation-led high value employment growth.

We are also home to Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NSCG), which is financially one of the strongest of its kind in the country with very high success rates, amongst the top 10 per cent nationally. NSCG has recently been rated 12 nationally for its excellent apprentiship provision.

Creative industries

Digital creative firms continue to be a potential growth area for the Borough. A number of highly respected video production companies are well established in the area already. Attracting, growing and retaining this type of firm relies on the availability of superfast and reliable broadband, the right style of business premises and the opportunity to cluster with other digital technology firms. Further actions include:

  • we will support the re-use of existing property in the town for businesses such as graphic design, film and media, publishing, animation, music and computer/console games software development including, where suitable, its own premises
  • we will continue to work with Keele University and Science Park to encourage development of Keele Science Park Phase 3

Professional and business services

Professional and business services are an important knowledge intensive sector for the borough. The improvement in broadband connectivity, development of new technologies and new working practices coupled with good transport links means that this sector offers the potential for continued growth. Our approach is based around three main activity areas:

  • ensure the availability of appropriate accommodation (both commercial and residential), which is necessary to attract and retain highly skilled workers in these sectors
  • through the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, to continue the development of Chatterley Valley

Make the most of business opportunities in the tourism and leisure sectors

The borough is home to a number of business and leisure tourist destinations including:

  • Brampton Museum and Art Gallery
  • Dorothy Clive Garden
  • New Vic Theatre
  • Apedale Community Heritage Park
  • Trent and Mersey canal and the famous Harecastle Tunnel
  • Newcastle town centre
  • Keele University

Our central location makes it a good resting place for visitors to other parts of the county.

We will work with Newcastle BID to encourage new businesses into the town centre, maximise the opportunities afforded by the growth of student accommodation and continue to grow our cultural tourism offer through the annual events programme.

Optimise the benefit to local companies from public sector procurement

There remains a statutory requirement to advertise all larger high value contracts through the Official Journal of the European Union and we are also required to advertise any contract over £25,000 on Contracts Finder. However, our spend profile includes a significant number of lower value contracts which are particularly suitable for smaller businesses and we also consider social value in awarding contracts and are keen to engage with all types of providers, including small and large businesses and social enterprises.

  • we will consider approaches such as joint ventures with other partners and procurement models from other areas of the country that encourage tenders from small businesses
  • we will support measures that make it easier for smaller businesses to tender for contracts and will also support emerging processes to standardise tender documentation