A £113 million environmentally-friendly deal that is expected to create hundreds of jobs, reduce heating bills and cut carbon emissions has been announced by the Government.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire City Deal is built around a flagship proposal for the UK’s first large scale low carbon heat network system, which will support the energy sector and the two cities’ manufacturing industry.
The Stoke-on-Trent District Heat Network will use geothermal energy and produce up to 45GWh every year – the UK’s first ever large scale low carbon heat system. It is expected to save 10,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year and lower energy costs by up to 10%.
A Smart Energy Network Demonstrator for testing new lower carbon energy sources and scenarios will also be set up in Keele University – which will have the potential to save more than 37,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
Other projects that will be established as part of the City Deal include:
– Innovation and support programmes to help SMEs turn their ideas into products
– Harnessing energy from the Four Ashes waste plant in South Staffordshire and a new power station at Meaford to supply local businesses.
– Pilot programmes and investment to create 3,900 apprenticeships, 1,100 traineeships and skills training for 9,000 jobseekers
The City Deal is expected to support up to 23,000 jobs in total for local people over the next decade.
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.
Stoke City Council, Staffordshire County Council and the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, working with more than 40 businesses and partners, will administer the City Deal programme.