Chancellor Rishi Sunak visited Stoke-on-Trent just three months after making a £56 million commitment to the city.
Mr Sunak revealed in his 2021 Autumn Budget that three out of the four Levelling Up bids which were submitted by Stoke-on-Trent City Council had been successful when he told MPs that he would back three projects “for the great city of Stoke-on-Trent.”
The Chancellor awarded the city £16 million for The Goods Yard redevelopment, £20 million for the newly-renamed Etruscan Square scheme and a further £20 million for the regeneration of three heritage sites in Stoke, Longton and Tunstall.
And earlier today, Mr Sunak toured one of the places set to benefit from the funding – the former Spode Works factory in Stoke – to see how the cash will be used to transform the historic site.
The money will help to turn former factory floorspace into modern flats to help revitalise the site and the wider town centre.
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Mr Sunak also got the chance to speak to a number of local businesses including the owners of The Quarter @ Potbank and animation company Carse and Waterman.
During an interview with StokeonTrentLive, Mr Sunak said: “These things have been discussed for years but they haven’t been delivered, and now they’re being delivered – £56 million of projects on top of the Town Deal for Kidsgrove, protecting the heritage, creating the jobs, the Home Office moving jobs here, the Transforming Cities Fund – those are all big things that are going to make sure people living here are going to feel incredibly positive about the future.
“They have every reason to be positive about the future. Our job is to get on and deliver those things, and that’s what we’re focused on doing.”
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During his visit to Staffordshire, Mr Sunak hosted a virtual round table with small businesses to launch the Help to Grow: Digital initiative which is designed to support smaller businesses adopt new tech to help them thrive.
He hosted the call with more than 30 businesses from across the UK at CineBowl in Uttoxeter.
Following the launch of the scheme, Mr Sunak said: “Small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating jobs and prosperity across the UK.
“When I announced this at Budget I said we wanted to help businesses become more innovative, more competitive and more profitable and I am excited this programme allows them do that.
“It’s been fantastic to speak to firms from across the UK and discuss how the scheme will benefit them – adopting new technologies is proven to improve processes and boost productivity.”