A new collaboration between local cultural and civic organisations, led by Keele University, is set to boost the local economy by £36m over the next decade.

Launched last month, Keele Deal | Culture is a landmark agreement between Keele University and local partners setting out shared ambitions to realise the full potential of the University’s cultural resources and assets for the benefit of the local area.

Keele University will work in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, The New Vic, B arts, British Ceramics Biennial, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce to deliver a unique deal designed to stimulate growth of the cultural economy in the region. The Deal will also be supported by Staffordshire County Council and the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership.

Over the next decade, the Deal will boost student numbers to the region, by bringing over 350 new students to the University to study creative programmes, while at the same time placing 250 students in local creative organisations while studying. The Deal will also increase student retention by keeping 15% more graduates in the area by improving student experience and supporting the creative economy.

Through a range of innovative business support programmes, the Deal will create over 300 new jobs in the next 10 years, boosting the local economy by over £8.6m. It will help 150 businesses in the creative and cultural sectors through funded innovation projects and provide leadership development programmes to 75 owners, directors and managers in the creative and cultural sectors.

In addition to enhancing local business productivity, the Deal will support creative and cultural partners through joint research bringing in £3.9m of funding for cultural activities and creating impact for local communities from our research.

Keele Deal | Culture will also provide a comprehensive programme of 2,170 creative and cultural events, attracting over half a million visitors to the county. Half of these events will be placed in priority sites for cultural regeneration.

Trevor McMillan, Vice Chancellor at Keele University, said: “Creativity and culture play a huge role in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s economic and social futures. The Deal is a commitment from the University and its partners to invest in the growth of the local economy by supporting and helping to advance our cultural offer to the local community, through research, an exciting events programme, student recruitment and retention and business support.”