Staffordshire's growing reputation as an ideal place to do business has been highlighted by a surge of internet inquiries from potential investors., the website for the county's development agency, has received increased numbers of hits from companies looking to take advantage of the area's regeneration and investment drive, its latest property Market Trends survey reveals.

In the six months from April to September 2005, InStaffs has sent out reports on 992 properties in the county with Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stafford getting the most inquiries.

InStaffs chief executive John de Kanter said: "Internet usage remains buoyant with nearly 500 registrations and 3,000 property searches over the last six months.

"Our last report in May drew attention to the number of Toyota related inquiries we were receiving.

"Six months on, three of those inquiries have been confirmed - Rieter Automotive at Stoke-on-Trent's Trentham Lakes, Intier at Centre 38, Burton-upon-Trent, and FI UK Limited at Dove Valley Business Park."

He added: "Land sales are continuing with the 50-acre Towers Business Park at Rugeley sold to Gazeleys with Staffordshire is a big hit with businesses a six-month option for B&Q to construct a logistics centre, while the county council has concluded a deal with Langtrees Developments for a ten-acre enterprise park for small businesses at Lymedale, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

"We are also awaiting an announcement on phase two of the Kingswood Lakeside development at Cannock Chase."

East Staffordshire has seen 25 per cent of its property inquiries come from overseas, as a large number of Toyota suppliers look for facilities within a 30-minute drive of the Burnaston plant.

And while 40 per cent of all property inquiries are for industrial units, all areas of the county have seen greater interest via the internet for premises for both retail and leisure use.

"Demand for office accommodation has decreased slightly, with 82 per cent of investors looking for premises of under 3,000 square feet," said Mr de Kanter.

"But the demand for larger office properties of 10,000 to 50,000 square feet has risen, with large brands looking for shared service facilities out-side the main commercial centres of Birmingham and Manchester."

The total number of vacant properties and plots of land in Staffordshire has gone down from 860 to 830 sites over the last six months, with industrial units making up 52 per cent of the total.

Finally, there has been an overall reduction of 3.5 per cent in land and property available in Staffordshire, but the Staffordshire Moorlands has bucked that trend owing to two new sites - the former Anzio army training camp at Black-shaw Moor and Huntley Wood in Cheadle - coming on to the market.

* The full list of development sites, along with information on the latest news and incentives, are available at