A hidden gem to discover
Newcastle-under-Lyme covers a semi-rural area of Staffordshire, broadly west of Stoke-on-Trent, north of Stafford and south of Crewe. Its two principal towns are Newcastle itself and Kidsgrove.
Like Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle's economy was traditionally based around pottery, coal mining, silk and cotton, all of which have declined in recent decades. The emphasis now is on manufacturing and associated logistics, with several national and international firms operating in the area.
Newcastle-under-Lyme itself is arguably the most attractive town centre in the North Staffordshire conurbation. With its handsome, well-maintained Georgian and Victorian buildings and an abundance of independent businesses, it is a delight to visit; it remains buoyant despite stiff competition from out-of-town retail locations, with our flourishing markets continuing to be an integral part of town centre life.
Investment in Newcastle and Kidsgrove town centres is a high priority, and we’ve set our focus on retail, accommodation and culture. We’re developing strategies to reinvigorate our towns, making sure they have the right mix of retail, public service, leisure, cultural, business and residential element. We were delighted to be invited by Government to develop a proposal for Town Deals in September 2019. The Newcastle bid will highlight the area's university connection, while the Kidsgrove project will feature the town's railway station and potential opportunities arising from the HS2 project.
A planned major development scheme on Newcastle’s Ryecroft site (owned jointly by the County and Borough councils) is likely to include a sustainable mix of retail space, car parking and high-quality apartments for students and key workers. We anticipate it will deliver sustained support to the economy, as well as providing hundreds of new jobs. We’re also bringing forward investment in civic realm and public art, complementing our position as an HLF priority area – we have secured over £5m of HLF monies in recent years.
Newcastle’s position in the centre of the country and at the heart of the motorway network has long made us a key distribution centre. Our closeness to the M6 has been boosted by the development of the A50 link road which has speeded up access east to the M1. We also intend to capitalise on HS2, and we’re working with partners to maximise the economic advantage that can be gained from the siting of the planned new Rail Hub near to Crewe Railway Station with the aim of bringing together a better HS2 service with the existing rail network.