Building Burslem - a starting point to levelling up
There has been a lot of talk recently about levelling up with some investment being earmarked for Stoke-on-Trent. While all and any investment is welcome what we have seen so far is mainly linked to commercial enterprises which also require additional funding.
In addition we have seen how the council have responded to the cuts required by closing vital services in the city including a plan to make sweeping cuts to the museum’s in the city.
Now it’s easy to take shots but we live in a city that has consistently failed to make the most of its cultural heritage and legacy of the potteries. The name of Stoke-on-Trent is synonymous around the world with ceramics and we should be building on this making the city a go to location and using its fame to springboard a growth and investment program citywide.
There is no easy solution but it is achievable and needs to be the engrained in the city vision going forward, we need to look at successful cities to how they have gone about regeneration, for example the Cardiff Bay development shows how you can change a area of deprivation into a treasured and thriving development. there have been too many false dawns and broken promises in Stoke, we have seen promises made and broken. We now need to,bring together the best people to secure the growth and regeneration of our city.
So time to put my money where my mouth is , I have honed in on Burslem, in the news for the wrong reasons recently as we have seen the leopard , a significant and important cultural treasure go up in flames, we have seen first hand other important buildings left to fall into ruin.
I am sure this is only a starting point to the conversation, we are seeing some investment come into the area, new houses are being built and new transport links are coming but it needs a grander vision to ignite the underlying potential the area undoubtedly has, so here goes ( pops head up over pulpy for shooting at)
a. Quick and easy road access to city hub
b. Enhanced train facilities at Longport with path to Middleport
c. Explore long term possibility of tram system
2. Pottery village
a. Close to city hub
b. Small units for pottery companies
c. Food and other small traders interwinded
d. Play area for Children
e. Modern art garden
3. Central culture zone
a. Buildings of historical value
b. New pedestrian only areas
c. Learning zone ( 6th form and ceramics centre)
d. International Food market hall
4. Sports village
a. Work in partnership with Port Vale / Carol Shananhan
b. Presence for Hubb project and PV academy
5. City hub
a. Coach park
b. Park and ride to other places of interest around the potteries
c. Culture tours
d. Restaurant and gift shop / tourist information / ticket office
Just a few ideas that I believe will properly level up the area but in order to see it come into reality it needs a strong guiding hand and not just investment but a clear steer from a competent visionary body committed to seeing the area blossom and thrive.