By Pits’n'Pots Reporter.
Partners in North Staffordshire are to hold a summit to help the area beat the credit crunch.
A meeting of key agencies and business organisations will take place on Wednesday, 6 May. The aim is to:
- highlight the support already available toÃ‚ business, individuals and families
- agree a series of actions to offer further help and support the local economy
- support key projects that will strengthen the economy in future years.
Councillor Mohammed Pervez, Stoke-on-Trent deputy elected mayor and chair of the North Staffordshire Economic Response Unit, said: “We are working together in North Staffordshire to help the area through the credit crunch.
“A wide range of support is already in place to help business and individuals, but we know that more needs to be done.
“The summit will issue a clear plan of support to provide further practical help to business now and in the next few months.
“We will ensure that regeneration and building projects are brought forward and we will help local businesses to benefit from the public investment into the region.”
The Economic Response Unit summit is taking place on the morning of the Made in Staffordshire event in the King’s Hall, Stoke. This is aimed at supporting companies in the ceramics supply chain by bringing together purchasers and suppliers. It is an example of the practical support on offer to help businesses beat the credit crunch.
Key parts of the credit crunch action plan include:
- signposting businesses to the www.supportwm.co.uk website, which gives full details of support from Advantage West Midlands, Business Link, the Manufacturing Advisory Service and other agencies.
- using public funding to bring forward housing and business development projects
- support for business through projects such as Build Up North Staffordshire, which has more than 400 companies signed up to take advantage of local construction contracts
- greater use of “local labour clauses”, to ensure people and companies benefit from publicly supported development contracts
- offering flexibility to developers in timing and the scale of “section 106″ contributions for planning approvals
- prompt payment of invoices
For individuals and households
- help to get help people back into work with training and support through the Jet (Jobs Enterprise Training) programme.
- a range of training, support and education programmes to improve skills
- grants and support to help create small businesses and social enterprises
- providing advice and guidance to help people at risk of repossessionÃ‚ and housing need
- launch of the Staffordshire credit union
- extending advice and support to install energy saving measures
The organisations which make up the North Staffordshire Economic Response Unit summit include:
- North Staffordshire Regeneration Partnership
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council
- Newcastle Borough Council
- Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
- Advantage West Midlands
- Job Centre Plus
- Learning and Skills Council
- Homes and Communities Agency
- Business Link
- North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce
- British Ceramics Confederation
- Ceramic Industry Forum
These organisations have met regularly since last year and have each contributed to the action plan. They have also worked together to ensure their actions are co-ordinated.