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BRANDING NEWS: Former “Worst place to start a business” wins accolade

Stoke-on-Trent has been crowned by the Government as the most enterprising place in Britain for its ability to attract new business to the area.

Blasted as the “worst place in the country to start a business” by Barclays Bank four years ago, the North Staffordshire town has turned itself around to attract 500 new businesses and 1000 new jobs to the area. The North Staffordshire Regeneration Zone (NSRZ) project, set up six years ago to encourage enterprise and economic development to the region, has been responsible for attracting a wide range of sectors including creative and media, science, technology and manufacturing.

The project has concentrated on improving the quantity and quality of premises for new businesses and trade fairs and tackling the promotion of enterprise within education. The NSRZ has also invested money into developing business support networks in the area.

“We're not saying this is the best place to start a business in the UK, but we're saying 'look how much has been achieved',” comments national Enterprising Britain judge James Murray Wells. “Stoke is teetering on the edge of a £2 billion regeneration, which will see a renovation of the city centre with a new business centre and university campus.” It is also planning to develop 200,000sqft of workspace for SMEs over the next five years.  


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