An environmentally-friendly City Deal worth £113 million that will create hundreds of jobs, reduce heating bills and cut CO2 emissions in Staffordshire by up to 50,000 tonnes a year, has been announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Cities Minister Greg Clark.
The Stoke-on-Trent District Heat Network will use deep geothermal heat energy to produce up to 45 GWh a year, save 10,000 tonnes of CO2 a year and lower energy costs by up to 10%. It’s the UK’s first ever low-carbon heat network system on this scale, and will help heat thousands of homes and businesses in the city.
The District Heat Network will support more than 200 jobs directly, with 1,350 jobs protected in the supply chain. The network will be funded by £20 million from the government and £32 million of local funding. In addition, there will be further private investment for energy projects across the Local Enterprise Partnership including projects in Meaford and South Staffordshire.
In total, the City Deal will support up to 23,000 jobs for local people over the next decade, in conjunction with wider Growth Deal proposals. And help to secure 3,900 additional apprenticeships and over 1,000 traineeships for young people.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
We’re giving Stoke-on-Trent the freedom, power and tools to be really innovative and design whole new ways of building a stronger economy and fairer society. Next generation heat and energy really does give the area one foot in the future. This City Deal puts power in the hands of local people who know best what skills are needed in the area to give it a real chance of changing the fortunes of thousands of people across Staffordshire.
Greg Clark, Minister for Cities, said:
The businesses, local councils and universities of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire have joined forces to propose a deal that would make the area a flagship for research and development in energy. I am delighted to say ‘yes’ to it. The area’s industrial strengths are world famous, and with many businesses large consumers of energy, Stoke and Staffordshire is an ideal place to be a centre for innovation in energy. As well as investment in energy, the City Deal will bring into use new employment sites across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, and ensure that local people have the right skills to fill the jobs that will be created.
In addition to the Stoke District Heat Network, over its lifetime, the Stoke-on-Trent City Deal will:
- Help establish the Smart Energy Network project at Keele University to test new lower carbon energy sources, which could save 37,300 tonnes of CO2 per annum if applied to the Stoke-on-Trent District Heat Network. This will support 180 construction jobs, create 30 permanent jobs, and safeguard 1,350 local jobs. The project will be funded with £5 million from the government to go alongside £5 million from the European Union and £5 million funding from Keele University.
- Accelerate the development of 6 strategic employment sites, supporting the creation of up to 21,400 jobs.
- Help create 3,900 additional apprenticeships and 1,100 traineeships, and up-skill 9,000 people not in employment, education or training by March 2024.
- Support local business support programmes, to help the commercialisation of new technologies - creating or safeguarding 384 high-value jobs by March 2016. These programmes will be jointly funded with £4.2 million from the Regional Growth Fund and £11.5 million of local private and public funds.
Stoke and Staffordshire is the fourteenth of the 20 Wave 2 areas to conclude their City Deal.