Stoke & Staffordshire

Regeneration schemes in North Staffordshire hit by cuts

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Image caption The council said major projects had been preserved

More than £14m is being cut from regeneration schemes in North Staffordshire, it has been revealed.

Schemes will lose funding, mainly as a result of the scrapping of regional redevelopment agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM).

Plans for a University Quarter in Stoke-on-Trent have been the worst hit, with an £8.9m funding cut.

AWM is one of nine regional development agencies which will be replaced, the government announced in June.

The organisations will be replaced by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

After the announcement, AWM said some projects may be scaled back or cancelled to meet current budget reductions.

'Got off lightly'

Paul Richards, the deputy vice chancellor of Staffordshire University, said the loss of the money for the proposed quarter was a major blow, but the project should still go ahead.

He said the project had other sources of income, including from the university which had earmarked £50m for it.

Elsewhere, Stoke-on-Trent City Council had planned to apply for money from AWM to build Hanley's bus station.

However, with the demise of the agency, it said it would divert £5m from regeneration schemes in Burslem, Stoke, Longton and Middleport to fill the funding gap.

However, Mervyn Smith, the councillor in charge of regeneration, said the council had got off "very, very lightly" from project cuts.

"We've managed to preserve the major regeneration projects," he said.

"By getting the bus station up and running that will mean, like a domino effect, we can clear the way for the East West Precinct to start moving forward as well."

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