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Stoke Investment Guide

Area Guide

Welcome to Stoke

HISTORIC INDUSTRY TRANSFORMED FOR THE MODERN WORLD

Stoke-on-Trent is a creative city where art, industry and learning come together to create something unique.

From a powerhouse of traditional industry to a centre of cutting-edge advanced manufacturing, Stoke is and always has been a vital part of the UK economy. The city’s long history as a home for inventors and entrepreneurs continues into the present day, and many leading businesses are based here for that reason.

Stoke is also an international education hub, as well as being within easy reach of other major UK cities including Manchester, Birmingham and London thanks to first class transport links. The beautiful surrounding landscape and an exciting bar, restaurant and retail scene only add to the picture, and help explain why Stoke is such a popular place to live. This is an outstanding city, and the perfect place to live, work, learn, do business and invest at the heart of the UK.

  • £23.6bn economy which supports 487,000 jobs
  • 33,000 students comes to Stoke every year
  • Fastest employment growth in the UK (UK Powerhouse Report)

A transformed, modern economy

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Stoke is the perfect example of an industrial economy which is transforming itself for the 21st century without losing what makes is unique and special.

Otherwise known as the Potteries, Stoke has a long history of producing world-class ceramics which have stood at the top of their field for centuries. Today, the Potteries have reopened following late-20th century decline, and once again are providing the manufacturing foundation that makes Stoke successful.

The city’s regional economy is worth more than £23bn, and 487,000 jobs are supported in the area – a huge amount of economic activity in the West Midlands, the UK’s heartland.

The latest UK Powerhouse Report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research and Irwin Mitchell highlights the vibrancy of Stoke’s economic success story. The city is in the UK’s top six for projected job growth in 2022, with an estimated 2.2% increase putting it above other regional exemplars including Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Likewise, predicted economic growth of 2.9% over the course of this year puts Stoke ahead of its much bigger neighbour Birmingham in that respect, as well as other up-and-coming cities including Derby and Portsmouth.

Alun Rogers, chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, welcomed the report’s findings, saying:

“It’s fantastic, but not surprising, to see Stoke-on-Trent forecasted to have one of the fastest rates of employment growth by the end of next year. It is real testament to the resilience and ambition of our region’s diverse business community, as well as the hard work of city leaders whose efforts have been firmly focused on recovering and ‘powering-up’ the local economy as we look ahead beyond the pandemic.”

MAJOR INVESTMENTS INTO STOKE

While this success is built on a revived manufacturing sector, Stoke has also been busy diversifying its economic base with a whole range of large-scale regeneration projects. As a consequence, it has become a diverse and welcoming destination for businesses with high ambitions.

Stoke and Staffordshire City Deal

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire City Deal is creating more local jobs by encouraging economic growth. It is based on delivering a new approach to energy production; providing businesses with support to develop the next generation of products and materials; developing local sites for new businesses or existing business to expand into; and bringing employers and education together to ensure residents have the skills and training that they need to drive the economy forward.

Over £100m of investment is being harnessed to create an estimated 21,000 jobs across all sectors in high quality industries that will help to future-proof the city and allow it to grow sustainably.

Silicon Stoke

The Silicon Stoke project sets out the city’s digital transformation ambition as it secures the partnerships and investment needed to become a ‘smart city’ that will benefit the whole UK. By providing opportunities for new national and international businesses, this scheme is a forward-thinking and sustainable way for Stoke to recover from the pandemic and take meaningful strides into the future.

The scheme is already well underway, with successes including the completion of an £8.5m, 113km full-fibre network that has been laid right across Stoke to provide city-wide 5G connectivity, a full-fibre academy at Stoke-on-Trent College, and a new Digital Academy.

The Minister for Digital Infrastructure and Broadband, Matt Warman, said: “Building first-class digital infrastructure is crucial for levelling up the country and I’m thrilled this investment for a vast fibre broadband network underneath this great city will act as the springboard for Silicon Stoke. The funding, alongside the bold vision of the city’s council leaders, will transform the city into a hotbed of digital innovation, creating jobs, boosting businesses and improving lives.”

Smithfield

Smithfield is Stoke’s flagship regeneration project to deliver a new, dynamic business quarter at the heart of the city centre. This mixed-use district neighbourhood includes residential, offices, co-working, hotel and cafe bars and restaurants with new public realm and pedestrian routes to connect it Smithfield to the city as a whole.

This £200m development is located next to the train station and a short drive from the ring road, making it the perfect location for existing businesses and those new to Stoke – as the thousands of people employed at the site already can testify to.

  • 2.2% job growth predicted in 2022
  • 2.9% economic growth predicted in 2022
stoke investment opportunities

Population

Stoke has a population of more than 250,000 making it a major city in the West Midlands – one of the UK’s most productive and in-demand regions. What’s more, it is estimated that over 3 million people live within an hours’ drive of the city. Between that and Stoke’s central location, it is clear to see why so many businesses are drawn to the city and the local region that it supports.

The city is also home to more than 33,000 students who come to Stoke’s regional universities from all over the world thanks to the world-class education on offer in some of the most advanced and innovative sectors. Strong links between the universities and industry ensure that the number of students heading to Stoke each year is likely to grow.

While the economic and education cases for people moving to Stoke make themselves, it is also worth noting that Stoke offers a desirable lifestyle in its own right that plays a big part in bringing people to the city.

For example, a recent survey from Britain Explained showed that residents in Stoke live closer to green space than in any other city in Britain, and that the city also score highly in other attractive factors – median rental price of flats, area crime rate, population density and average distance to green space. Following the pandemic, all of those are qualities that are high on people’s lists when considering their next move.

  • 250,000+ population, with more than 3 million people an hour away or less
  • 33,000+ students come to Stoke’s regional universities each year
  • Residents can enjoy more green space than in any other UK city
stoke connectivity

Connectivity

Stoke enjoys the benefits of a position at the heart of the UK, and on the mainline between Manchester, Birmingham and London.

This location makes it a natural hub for businesses from around the world which value being able to reach all parts of the UK quickly and easily. Significant investments – both local and national – are underway which will improve Stoke’s connectivity even further in the future.

Perfect suburban connections

The £500m masterplan for Stoke station and the wider ‘square mile’ pave the way to maximising the opportunities for residents, businesses, visitors and students to connect to the Core Cities of London, Birmingham and Manchester via the services that operate to and from Stoke directly.

The vision includes:

STOKE STATION MASTERPLAN

  • Two new platforms at the Grade-II listed station
  • New commercial and residential developments surrounding the station
  • New multi-storey car park and hotel
  • Enhancing pedestrian routes around the station
  • Installing a bridge across the canal and A500 to connect the station to the city centre

Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “Stoke-on-Trent railway station has some fantastic Here’s the rest of the content in markdown format:

Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “Stoke-on-Trent railway station has some fantastic buildings with real heritage and character. There is huge potential here to increase passenger numbers, improve on-station facilities and drive regeneration and development across the surrounding area. This is about us starting to look now at what is needed to make the station a key transport hub for the region that builds on the city’s own investment and is ready for the game-changer that will be HS2.”

HS2 AND THE CONSTELLATION

HS2 high speed rail is one of the biggest engineering projects in Europe and Stoke will be a major beneficiary of the new line connecting London to the Midlands and North West regions.

HS2 is already creating jobs and securing investment in Stoke years completes. The Constellation Partnership, which covers Cheshire and Staffordshire, plans to deliver 120,000 new jobs to the region by 2040, and will be able to do so thanks to the new HS2 line. The growth strategy published by HS2 predicts that this growth will be worth £6.4 billion, and it is likely that Stoke will be one of the major regional beneficiaries of this thanks to its status as the capital of the ‘Constellation’.

The city will become the commercial, retail and leisure hub of the scheme. Home to Staffordshire University and the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone among other things, Stoke is at the forefront of advanced manufacturing in the UK, and is a key industry, growth, and transport hub that will drive growth throughout the Constellation.

HS2 itself will cut journey times substantially upon its completion, reducing the time it takes to get to London Euston to just 70 minutes from its current time of 1 hour 30 minutes.

Education

With the government planning to increase the number of international students in the UK to 600,000 annually by the end of the decade on top of record numbers of domestic students, the country’s top education destinations are likely to see their student bases expand rapidly in the coming years.

One such place that is attracting an increasing amount of attention from investors is Stoke which is home to the University of Staffordshire and Keele University – both of which are leading universities and have strong links with businesses from around the world.

Both universities occupy prime sites within easy reach of the universities and city centre. Likewise, both are undertaking expansions which will increase their capacity and attractiveness – and both have nowhere near enough student accommodation supply to meet demand.

Between the two universities, the need for PBSA is already strong and could become much more urgent in the near future. This can only be met through the private sector, with the best apartments located close to the universities and Stoke city centre likely to be in high demand.

THE UNIVERSITY OF STAFFORDSHIRE

The University of Staffordshire prides itself on training graduates who are among the most employable in the UK, and is moving towards the completion of its 2030 Campus Masterplan. This is overhauling the services and facilities on offer to make the university more competitive and attractive in the years to come.

Additions to the campus include a £40m physical and virtual business hub called the Catalyst, a £5.8m Centre for Health Innovation, a £4.4m Nursery and Forest School and a £20m Innovation Enterprise Zone. By expanding the range and quality of education it offers, the University of Staffordshire should attract an even greater number of students in the future as it continues to grow.

KEELE UNIVERSITY

Keele University is among the top 10 in the UK for student experience and satisfaction, and is developing a similar Masterplan which will serve its ambition to reach 20,000 students over a long-term period.

This will be done through the establishment of a new engineering faculty and student growth at the existing health, humanities and sciences faculties.

Overall, the Masterplan will cover approximately 100 hectares, of which around half will be allocated to science and innovation, and half to academic uses. This will in effect double the size of the university, both physically and in terms of student numbers. It is clear to see that Keele University is on the verge of a huge transformation, and that will bring with it accompanying challenges – including the need to house twice as many students as before.

stoke river view at night

Why invest in Stoke?

As a key part of the West Midlands Engine, Stoke is one of the most in-demand property markets in the UK and has been for a while. By looking at the latest Rightmove data, we can see that not only have prices increased by 5% in the last year, but they are also currently 14% higher than the 2019 pre-pandemic average.

The residential and student demand in Stoke, combined with the shortage of supply, continues to generate upward pressure. Figures from the Office for National Statistics confirm this by showing that Stoke enjoyed house price growth of 10.3% in the year. This is greater than the national average and represents capital growth of more than £12,000 in one year for property owners in Stoke.

Buyers can be confident that the chances of further growth in Stoke are good, too. Stoke is an ideal up-and-coming property investment market with lots of potential that offers investors a substantial upside potential with a lower entry cost than markets like London, Manchester or Birmingham in spite of the recent high growth results.

The city’s economy and job growth are surpassing the national average, and a whole range of local regeneration projects are underway which are setting it apart from competitors – whether that is the Silicon Stoke initiative, the Smithfield business quarter, the Stoke Station masterplan or the ongoing expansion of its universities which are catering to domestic and international students.

Stoke is also set to be a major beneficiary of the HS2 high speed rail project which is under construction. Improved links to London have the potential to create thousands of jobs and add billions to the local economy. As the heart of the West Midlands HS2 ‘Constellation’, Stoke is planned to be a big winner from one of Europe’s biggest engineering projects.

While Stoke may not have the reputation of some of its larger neighbours when it comes to property investment, it has all the traits required to make it an attractive destination for landlords. Whether you are investing in residential or student accommodation, Stoke’s upside means that demand is likely to keep increasing in the future, making this the perfect time to invest.

Why invest with Opulent?

At Opulent, we manage your property investments and portfolios as if they were our own. This dedication and attention to detail guarantee a personal service with tailored investment advice built to your exacting requirements.

Our team of experienced property investment advisors work tirelessly to identify and present the very best investment opportunities to maximise the return on your investment. Whether it be identifying new property and off-plan developments for future resale or attractive rental properties with regular returns, we have complete confidence and proven expertise in delivering exceptional returns.

A superior investment proposition

There is no shortage of investment advisors in the UK but, sadly, not every one of these will place your needs above their own desire to turn a profit. This is the precise reason that we set up our business in 2014.

It is witnessing poorly researched property investments lacking a strategic framework and companies willing to recommend developers without thorough due diligence checks, that led us to the comprehensive property investment service we are so proud of today. We call it ‘the Opulent Way’.

Adding value, creating wealth

The ‘Opulent Way’ means adding tangible value based on a number of critical variables. It includes a research process second to none that allows us to make informed recommendations rooted in facts and figures and presented in a no-nonsense, easy-to-understand format.

It involves working with hand-selected, reputable developers with unblemished track records right from the very start. This ensures that property investment plans can be shaped to your needs and delivered with a confidence that we are prepared to stake our brand on.

Our primary goal is to create wealth and long-term financial security for you, and we are proud to do so transparently and ethically.

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Total management

We set out to create turnkey opportunities that are fully managed and require minimal input. There’s no corner-cutting, but by acting decisively we can circumvent the most challenging part of the property investment process for you.

An aftersales team will guide you through your property investment purchases, absorbing most of the administrative burden. Forget time-consuming legal paperwork or preparing your property for rental. We’ll take care of it while you sit back and contemplate your next investment.

Available investment opportunities

We are pleased to be able to present a pair of outstanding investment opportunities in Stoke which offer opportunities in both the residential and student markets.

The key highlights of each investment are below – please make sure to get in touch for more information to avoid missing out.

KILN HOUSE – PURPOSE BUILT STUDENT ACCOMMODATION

Investment Highlights:

  • 96 units
  • All self-contained studios, including several adjoined 2 bedroom “studios”
  • Starting from £69,950
  • 7% Net returns assured for 2 years
  • Assured rent based on current rental figures
  • Fully managed by the University Student Union
  • Zero stamp duty payable
  • Zero ground rent
  • Only additional purchase cost are £1000 legal fees
  • No hidden running costs
  • 55-60% ROI over 5 years

LONDON HOUSE – RESIDENTIAL 1 AND 2 BEDROOM APARTMENTS

Key property information:

  • PRE LAUNCH
  • 44 apartments
  • Prices starting from £56,000
  • December 2022 completion
  • 15% deposit required before completion
  • 7% Net returns assured for 1 year
  • Mortgages available subject to status
  • Fully managed investment
  • 60% ROI over 5 years (based on full cash purchase)

Start your investment journey today

Property investment is an astute choice for many and includes retirement fund planning, nest eggs to finance university education and experienced property investors seeking portfolio contraction or expansion. Get in touch today to find out more about our latest investment opportunities in Manchester.

Click here to download our Stoke Investment Guide in PDF format.

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