The county of Staffordshire sits in a particularly picturesque part of the West Midlands in the UK. It is home to Cannock Chase, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and overlaps with parts of the National Forest and Peak District national park. It is also home to the highest village in Britain, Flash!
But for it’s less urban make-up (three fifths of the county is rural), Staffordshire has a healthy economy, with a GVA of over £12.5 billion – the largest of any ‘shire’ in the West Midlands region! This is helped by an employment rate of nearly 75%, higher than the national average. Workers are drawn to the region to escape the grind of city life in some of the UK’s busier areas. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do there.
A big attraction – and employer for young people – is Alton Towers, the UK’s best known theme park. In fact tourism is one of the county’s biggest industries, providing more than 21,000 jobs and contributing over £1.6 billion to the region’s economy. Staffordshire is also home to the National Brewery Centre, which for a country noted for its love of beer, is rather a big deal.
The county boasts a Premier League football team, Stoke City. The club brings fans from across the country into the region, filling the Britannia Stadium to capacity to watch their team battle it out with ‘the Potters’. That nickname comes from the area’s history as a hub for the pottery industry, hosting some of the largest pottery manufacturers in the world.
Stoke-on-Trent is the county’s largest city, where the main campus for Staffordshire University, one of the county’s two universities, can be found. The other, Keele University, is a highly regarded university that has recently introduced an Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This was established with the aim of transforming the University into a British Ivy League liberal Arts College in the coming years.
Thanks to its central location, Staffordshire is well served by road and rail, as well as an extensive network of canals. The city of Stafford is central to the West Coast Main Line rail network, transferring passengers and freight north and south between London and Scotland, as well as between major cities Birmingham and Manchester. If travelling by road, the M42 and M6 provide links to other parts of the country.
With average house prices in the region of around £175,000, property in the county is generally more affordable than much of the UK, particularly Southern England.
For such a discreet part of the country, Staffordshire certainly has a lot to offer residents, visitors and investors.