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Wednesday 18 September 2013

‘All Change for Crewe’ as Cheshire East Council sets out ambitious growth strategy for town


A major new economic strategy from Cheshire East Council aims to make Crewe the “premier location in the North West region for advanced manufacturing and engineering” by 2030, exploiting the town’s connectivity and record of innovation to drive future growth.

The 50-page strategy, All Change for Crewe:

High Growth City, has five key priorities. These include developing Crewe as a world-class hub for the automotive and rail industries; making the town a UK centre of excellence in employer-led skills; positioning Crewe as a market leader in renewable energy; spearheading a £500 million infrastructure programme for the town and preparing key land assets to support future economic growth.

Unveiled this week by Cheshire East Council Leader, Michael Jones, the strategy aims to build on the recent announcement from Crewe-based Bentley Motors that will see £1 billion invested in new product development - including manufacturing Bentley’s new luxury SUV - creating 400 jobs directly and up to a thousand through the local supply chain.

Part of this will see a new University Technical College built in Crewe, focusing on engineering and design skills, creating a pipeline of new young engineers from the town and surrounding areas. The UTC already has the buy-in from Bentley, Siemens, engineering services company OSL and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Crewe has also been confirmed as one of just a handful of nationally significant centres for the extraction of geothermal power and Cheshire East’s Cabinet has agreed to conduct a feasibility study of a key site in the town. Hundreds of jobs are expected to be created in the renewable sector over coming years as the council develops the town as a deep geothermal energy centre.

The strategy also aims to provide the right mix of sites to drive employment and balanced housing growth in Crewe, ensuring the right types of development opportunities are in position to support sustainable growth going forward.

Cheshire East Council Leader, Cllr Michael Jones, explained: “Crewe really is on the cusp of a major renaissance. Our All Change for Crewe strategy is leading the transformation of the town, capitalising on its rail and engineering heritage, but also supporting growth in exciting new industries and technologies.

“The town’s unrivalled connectivity means Crewe has a unique opportunity to become a gateway between the economies of northern and southern England, with more than six million people living within an hour of the town.”

He added: “The strategy is ambitious – but certainly realisable – and by 2030 we aim to make Crewe a nationally significant economic centre and one of the leading advanced engineering and manufacturing centres in the country.”

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