STAFFORDSHIRE’S economic growth programme has supported the creation of nearly 7,000 jobs in four years as continued near full employment in the county was confirmed again this week.
A cabinet report being discussed this week states that sites and projects forming the county council’s economic growth programme have so far created or safeguarded 6,835 jobs and delivered 301 houses up to September this year.
Latest statistics released today show that just 1.3 per cent of the local population is claiming out of work benefits, the same figure as the previous two months. This is lower than both regional (2.9 per cent) and national (2.2 per cent) averages.
On completed business sites with county council involvement, over £9million worth of total business rates is now generated each year. For every £1 of county council investment on current ‘live’ projects, approximately £13.60 of external funding is secured.
Over the lifetime of the growth programme (to 2024), infrastructure and projects are planned to allow for a further 20,000 jobs and for the delivery of 15,600 houses. When the sites are fully developed and let, it is expected that £30million of total business rates will be generated, a proportion of which will support local public services.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said: “Our latest performance report shows that our economic growth programme is successfully supporting job creation and essential business and residential development.
“We are seeing continued successes in terms of completed projects with expanding businesses across our sites. Again we are pleased to see near full employment in the county but our main driver remains to ensure these jobs are better paid and better skilled.
“We are confident this growth programme is helping to deliver on our commitments.”