£3m bid taken to Downing Street

County Council takes £3m bid to Downing Street to develop major route and create 5,000 jobs   

Staffordshire County Council and partners are calling on the government to invest £3 million into further developing a project to create highly skilled jobs and better transport links along the A50/A500 route over the next three years. 

The Fifty500 Midlands Growth Corridor is a major road that runs along the A50 and A500 from Crewe to Nottingham.  

It is a hub of economic activity, being home to global businesses and world class universities. It is also a critical transport route, linking the M6 to the M1.  

The Corridor is an initiative led and developed by Staffordshire County Council.  Due to its scale and complexity, it has now reached a point where it needs national funding to be developed further.  

So, county council representatives – together with Keele University – visited Downing Street on Tuesday 20 February to call on the government to allocate £3 million to the scheme in the 2024 Spring Budget. 

They went armed with signatures from councils, major businesses and universities along the route demonstrating their support for the initiative.

 The proposal was delivered by the county council’s deputy leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, Philip White, with Ann Pittard, Keele University’s Director of Engagement & Partnerships. 

The Corridor is currently home to one million people and half a million jobs with 41 per cent of its output in manufacturing and distribution. 

If the bid is successful, proposals that are expected to create 5,000 more jobs and add £100 million in gross value added (GVA) by 2030 can be progressed.  

Staffordshire County Council’s Deputy Leader, Philip White, said: “Our visit to Downing Street is a major milestone in our work to develop the Fifty500 Midlands Growth Corridor.  

“If this bid is successful, together with our partners, we can continue our work to develop business cases around the corridor for new investments that will support our innovative and high growth businesses to create thousands of skilled jobs and generate an additional £100 million for the local economy.    

“This initiative has the potential to deliver on the Government’s aims of levelling up and decarbonising industry and transport whilst increasing productivity and employment in Staffordshire.  

“With the support of major businesses, academic institutions and local authorities along this route, I firmly believe our proposal has every chance of success.”  

The bid has been submitted based on consultations with local businesses and universities on the route, to develop six investment priorities around green growth. 

These include a Midlands Industrial Energy Plan, a Zero Emission Innovation Valley, a Road to Rail Freight Transition, Innovation Factories, a Regional Supplier Park and Smart Factories.  

It will be revealed if the bid has been successful in the Spring budget announcements on Wednesday 6 March.

For more information about the A50/A500 corridor development, visit https://fifty500.com or contact Lauren Hunt by emailing lauren.hunt@staffordshire.gov.uk.

(photo left to right) Assistant Director of Business and Enterprise Anthony Hodge, SCC’s Deputy Leader Philip White, Keele University’s Director of Engagement & Partnerships Ann Pittard and Assistant Place Brand Manager Lauren Hunt.