Grand ambitions and bold targets are being tabled by the Constellation Partnership that has Crewe at its core as efforts to boost investment and economic growth in the region are progressed.
The Constellation Partnership is an impressive collaboration between two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and seven Local Authorities (including Cheshire East Council and Chester West and Cheshire).
As the name suggests, the constellation is a group of towns and urban areas connected by a common thread – in this case the significant boost expected from the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway project.
Businesses across Cheshire and Staffordshire will benefit as powerful marketing messages position the constellation as one of the country’s best opportunities for investment. The railway renaissance will mean Crewe is less than an hour from London, and under 25 minutes from Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. Equally important, Crewe becomes a very easy to reach destination. The town’s star is about to rise.
The numbers are impressive. The partnership’s ambition is to see 100,000 new homes built and around 120,000 new jobs created in the wider zone by 2040. For established businesses like John Heath Insurance that is fabulous news. It also means knock-on benefits for many Cheshire communities.
Business Opportunities For Cheshire
We are proud of our Cheshire roots. We’ve been at the heart of the business community here for many decades. Watching the commitment being shown to the area by the Constellation Partnership is a huge boost for firms across the region. By working together, everyone will benefit.
One of the initiative’s slogans is “A vibrant place which offers the best of the city and country”. That’s so true, as anyone who lives in the area will know. Crewe is one of the UK’s best connected towns. Outstanding railway links and just a few miles from the M6 and A500 by car. All around is stunning scenery, canal side walks and market towns. We’re very lucky.
The rolling countryside around Crewe and Nantwich is undoubtedly beautiful, but developing the Cheshire brand further is essential to position the county as a place to invest. Now is the time to showcase what the many commercial centres have to offer.
Business Expansion, Jobs, Homes, Prosperity…
Some amazing work has already been completed around Crewe and Nantwich. New road infrastructure has been delivered to open up development land south of the towns. This promises to ease traffic flow around housing areas, the university and railway station area.
Much more is necessary. Work on the proposed HS2 hub station is now just a few years away. Recently, the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, backed major redevelopment work at Crewe (here) that will see significant investment in the core station, its tracks and other infrastructure.
That endorsement for the area means more key HS2 services will come to Crewe. That means exciting links for nearby locations. Stoke-on-Trent becomes part of the equation, and vast catchment areas will be able to use the incredible rail services that serve the area north, south, east and west of the constellation.
The partnership must embrace everyone from the current business communities to help spread the word. Personal recommendations are like gold dust, and if hundreds of existing organisations fly the flag the business network will hear the beating drum.
What Does Cheshire Stand For?
The branding and communication across industries is essential to pitch Crewe and Cheshire to the right investors. We’re all for new business, but not at any cost. The anticipated growth in warehousing and logistics is to be expected. Crewe is the perfect hub from which to operate truly national distribution operations. That will bring many jobs, with lucrative opportunities for the various supply chains to help keep things moving.
However, Crewe and the surrounding towns must aim high. The university campus has the potential to develop into a centre of technical excellence, perhaps focusing on engineering to provide some of the technical manufacturing skills sure to be demanded as the railway network expands.
To see the local economy blossom there must be a range of jobs, salaries and career paths open to existing people and new arrivals. That will fuel growth in other areas of life, like the commercial shopping offering, leisure and entertainment facilities and education settings.
So we’d like to see Cheshire billed as a premium destination, somewhere people aspire to live and others yearn to visit. Whatever transpires, John Heath Insurance will push for the highest standards and we will always be here to offer advice and support to local businesses.