Staffordshire’s inward investment drive has been given a major boost with the appointment of a new analyst who aims to unlock the potential of over 1,000 vacant property sites in the county.
Craig Staples, who graduated in geography and economics from the University of Birmingham, will play a key role in providing essential data to companies moving into the area and existing businesses keen on expansion.
The business location and information analyst will be charged with the task of maintaining and updating InStaffs’ interactive property database – instaffs.co.uk – which features the latest details on speculative developments, offices, industrial factories and units for let/sale.
He will also be developing closer links with the economic development teams at local authorities across Staffordshire, not to mention the full spectrum of property sector intermediaries.
John de Kanter, chief executive of InStaffs, said: "When we have a potential investment lead, it is absolutely vital that we can give out the latest information on available sites they could move into and this is where Craig will be a huge help."
He added: "Companies like to have all the details available so they can make a decision at their own pace, which is why our ‘property database’ – with over 1,000 sites available at any one time – has been so popular and was important in getting the likes of Rieter Automotive Systems GB and Clayton Equipment to choose Stoke-on-Trent and Burton upon Trent respectively.
"This appointment will strengthen our ability to keep on top of all the new developments taking place and the huge amount of speculative build currently underway in the area – a staggering 3 million sq ft at the last count."
Craig, who lives in Cannock and is a keen Walsall FC fan, will make sure that properties are added to the database the minute they come into the office, so that enquirers can see all potential options live on the interactive property search facility.
He is also looking forward to using his knowledge and skills in developing a new suite of research on current and future property trends, which may be used to help the agency adopt new marketing campaigns that will attract even more inward investment.
"Staffordshire is currently enjoying a major renaissance and, with all the regeneration money flooding into the area, there are going to be lots of new sites coming onto the market. In short, there has never been a better time to be involved in the county," he said.
InStaffs (UK) is a partnership of Staffordshire Local Authorities and Chambers of Commerce providing a single point of contact for businesses wishing to move to, or expand within the county of Staffordshire.
The company promotes Staffordshire as a business location and offers a service to investors including providing a wide range of information; site visits; assistance with planning applications; help with training and recruitment and grant advice.
InStaffs also operates a very successful web site – www.instaffs.co.uk – featuring a searchable database of commercial property and development sites within the county and a wealth of other information.