Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire remains a global centre for fine ceramics, with a number of the world's leading ceramic brands and manufacturers operating in the city. Over 9,000 companies are said to operate within the city, with a significant shift in focus towards service-led industries, telecommunications and online gaming.
The city is home to Staffordshire University and Keele University which attracts a high calibre of graduates primed for the workplace. Back in 2004, a KPMG report declared Stoke-on-Trent to be the most cost-effective place to set up a new UK business and benefits from being able to provide affordable commercial property to let surrounded by affluent North West regions including Cheshire and the Peak District.
Stoke-on-Trent is also linked to the M6 and M1 motorways, the latter of which is reachable via the A50 dual-carriageway. Meanwhile its mainline railway station is a well-used stop on the West Coast Main Line connecting Manchester and London via the Virgin Pendolino train service.