AN EXTRA £1.7 million has been secured to restore more historic buildings in two town centres in Stoke-on-Trent. Properties in Burslem and Longton will benefit from the latest cash injection to revive listed buildings.
WORK is set to begin on repairing one of the city's most historic buildings, after decades of neglect. The 1860s Grade-II listed Wedgwood Institute, in Burslem, is about to be redeveloped by the Prince's Regeneration Trust, and they will start urgent repairs on the roof this month. In the first phase they will spend £854,000. Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which owns the unused site, has agreed to grant the charity – run by Prince Charles – a long lease at a ‘peppercorn’ rent.
A parcel delivery company is creating new jobs in Stoke-On-Trent. DPD is taking on twenty two new workers for its own parcel shop network with its headquarters on Etruria Valley Park, Stoke-On-Trent. The new venture, to be called DPD PickUp, is now recruiting for a number of specialist positions.
Stoke-on-Trent pottery Portmeirion is to spend some £1.5 million on a new kiln to raise output from its Stoke-on-Trent factory by 50%, and is likely to take on around 80 new workers. 2014 was Portmeirion's sixth consecutive year of sales growth, and their share price has doubled in price in the last two years.
Crews today moved into a new £3 million community fire station at Stone. Across North Staffordshire 10 further community fire stations will be rebuilt on their current sites, plus a brand new station added at Loggerheads in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
A UNIVERSITY network which aims to increase school pupils’ access to higher education has secured more than £450,000 to expand its work. The Universities of Wolverhampton, Keele, Staffordshire and Harper Adams have joined forces on Explore University, which has been awarded £458,794 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The Network already works with primary schools and will now expand its activities to secondary schools and colleges in Staffordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is one of seven areas to receive small and microbusiness funding support from the Regional Growth Fund. The help is being branded as the Grow on Growth Fund, run by the University of Lincoln. A £2 million allocation from government will provide financial grants for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises across the seven regions, to allow them to move on from incubation or start-up units. Grants will range from £20,000 to a maximum of £100,000 and funds can be used flexibly for capital investment, staff recruitment and training, and research and development.
NEW rail services will add thousands more seats on trains between Stoke-on-Trent and London each week. Stoke station will see 3,000 extra seats, as will Crewe, while Stafford will gain 4,000. There will be two additional faster services from London each weekday evening, with two new fast services to the capital on Saturday mornings.
YMCA North Staffordshire has been named as the best in the country. The Hanley-based facility scooped the ‘YMCA of the Year’ accolade at a ceremony in London this week. This year the YMCA has helped 100 people get back into work, has introduced a four-week rolling induction and activities programme for newly accommodated youngsters, established an Unlocking Potential bursary scheme for interested in the creative arts, as well as launching a boxing club and a ‘free-running’ club.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is recruiting 60 staff after securing £4.9 million of taxpayer cash via the government's Troubled Families programme. The city's new programme will initally contact 9,000 families in a bid to save £36.5 million over the next three years. Each troubled family can currently cost taxpayers up to £75,000 a year in crime, truancy, police call-outs, debt and welfare claims. The new funding follows a test-run pilot of the programme in Little Chell and on the Stanfield estate, which worked intensively with 190 households over 12 months. The government's Troubled Families programme sees local councils paid up to £4,000 for turning around the life of each household targeted under the initiative, through assigning a dedicated worker to engage with a whole family rather than lone individuals. Local councils are only paid if a set of strict criteria are met, such as stopping school truancy or getting unemployed adults into genuine work.
Stoke-on-Trent College have officially opened new state-of-the-art facilities featuring cutting-edge engineering and manufacturing equipment worth more than £600,000. More than 420 full-time students and apprentices are set to benefit from the equipment, based at the Burslem campus, alongside 13 Bentley Motors apprentices who are also trained on site.
A RECRUITMENT drive at Internet Central has kicked off with six technology specialists joining its team. And the Keele based business internet service provider says there will be plenty more job opportunities in the future as it rolls out expansion plans.
THE NUMBER of jobless people in North Staffordshire fell 45.1 per cent compared with a year ago. A total of 5,580 people claimed Jobseekers' Allowance in December - a fall of 4576 compared to the same month last year. In Stoke-on-Trent, 3,541 people made claims in December (down -44% on 12 months ago). The huge unemployment falls are part of a trend across the Midlands, taking the West Midlands' rate lower than London.
The Stoke-on-Trent businesses Wardell Armstrong has been awarded a share of a £2m cash pot set up to boost innovation in the UK's shale gas and oil industry. The Innovate UK competition sought innovative ideas for shale gas and oil projects. Wardell Armstrong will now explore innovative non-intrusive geophysical techniques.
NEW FAMILY GPs are set to be recruited by Royal Stoke University Hospital to work in surgeries around the city – to tackle marathon A&E queues. Appoint the new GPs will cost more than £1 million. The hospital is already investing £5.5 million to try to improve performance by bringing GPs into A&E to treat less pressing cases, diverting some ambulances to NHS walk-in centres and buying up beds at a care home.
SCORES of new NHS jobs are being created to bring basic personal care to elderly and vulnerable people living at home. The move is the latest in a multi-million pound drive to keep them out of the Royal Stoke University Hospital. It will see 50 home care workers recruited by Christmas to operate in Newcastle-under-Lyme and the Staffordshire Moorlands.
£10.2 million is being spent on fixing the roads in Stoke-on-Trent in 2014-15. A new league table of Government funding, produced by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), shows that the city has seen a 155 per cent rise in road repair spending since 2013-14.
HUNDREDS of jobs are being created at luxury car manufacturer Bentley as it invests £40 million in a new research and development centre. The R&D hub will be built opposite the main entrance to the factory in Crewe and will bring together 1,300 Bentley engineers currently based at sites across Cheshire.
A TOTAL of 150 new companies opened in Stoke-on-Trent during the last 12 months according to new research. The Barclays Entrepreneurs Index shows there are 5,220 enterprises in the city, a 2.96 per cent increase on last year.