Plans to transform the city of Stoke-on-Trent into a thriving and successful centre are well underway thanks to a fresh injection of funding and an ambitious vision for the future.
Improvements are being made to greatly improve image and appeal of the city centre and surrounding area and help join up other developments taking place around the city from the Central Business District through to the Mitchell Memorial Theatre.
The public realm improvements, supported by £2.1million from the European Regional Development Fund, which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government and matched by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, are part of a package of improvements to develop and upgrade the city centre - creating a legacy for local people and making it more attractive to potential new investors.
The aim is to create something special for local people, attract investment from business and make the city centre a destination of choice for visitors all of which will help the much needed and on-going regeneration of the city centre.
As well as creating something special for local people, I also hope this investment will send a clear signal to private sector investors, helping to continue the much needed and on-going regeneration of the city centre. This is an exciting project for the city and will give the area a contemporary city style and feel, but still retain its very special character and heritage. A lot of the work is well underway or completed and is already looking more attractive with a more welcoming shopping environment of natural stone paving and granite benches with ceramic detailing, plus new lighting, signs and trees.
It’s the first major makeover for the city in a generation, some might argue longer, and it is much needed if we want to encourage investment, create jobs and provide a great environment to work and live in. What it does mean is that Stoke on Trent should prove to be a great place to invest in.