An ode to Piccadilly, the ‘Shoreditch of Stoke’

Those who think Stoke-on-Trent isn’t rich in culture would be shocked to discover the blossoming, vibrant Piccadilly neighbourhood that is stuffed full of independent eateries, exciting small businesses and a bustling energy. 

Whilst no place is comparable to the uniquely welcoming environment that Stoke-on-Trent provides, Piccadilly certainly possesses echoes of the cool, cutting-edge, independent vibe that Shoreditch in London emanates. It’s the go-to place for public art displays in the city centre, and the dozens of quirky independents which line the street have an unmistakably European ‘café culture’ feel to them. 

So, if this is all news to you, we thought we’d share some of the wicked businesses that make our Cultural Quarter the distinctly original and brilliant place that it is. Given that Smithfield is right next door to it, we like to consider ourselves would-be Piccadilly experts, so we can assure you you’re in safe hands…


First off is Bottlecraft, an independent beer seller that has over 150 bottles of the best local and international craft beer and real ale on offer. This alternative drinking spot also offers a delivery service, so you have the options of enjoying your beers at home, or at one of their tables, either inside or outside. 

NØRTH Kitchen + Bar

We could happily wax lyrical about the brilliance of NØRTH all day long! It’s the coolest of neighbourhood hangouts, which is no surprise as it recently got a revamp from the creatives at NTRPRNS, and offers brunch, cocktails, craft beers and all things utterly delicious. Its menu has veggie, vegan, and gluten-free options, so you can rest assured that all your crew will find something that tickles their fancy. It’s also dog friendly, so you’ve got no excuse not to book your table today. 


Entrepreneurs is a must-visit alternative clothes store that offers the coolest brands. But they aren’t satisfied with just being one of the most on-trend clothes shops in Staffordshire, Entrepreneurs doubles up as an art gallery that provides art with their trademark edgy twist. 


What’s not to love about freshly baked pizza? Klay, with their unique tix box style menu, offers a chilled, stylish environment to enjoy some cheesy, tomatoey goodness. The team at Klay are driven by the desire to bring something new to the city, for the people of the city and we love them for it. 

The Corner Cafe

The Corner Cafe really is a haven for foodies; their menu includes American-style food from Po’ boy sandwiches to loaded fries to Eggs Benedict. All that deliciousness can be washed down with a drink from their huge selection of gins, spirits, beers, ales and cider.


This floral escape is potentially one of the most Instagrammable spots in Piccadilly. As well as the most divine aesthetics, Bloom also showcases stunning cocktails, fantastic food and a range of exciting live music and entertainment across the week. 

Stoke-on-Trent cocktail bar to close after staff member tests positive for  Covid-19 - Stoke-on-Trent Live

The Corner

The Corner is a painfully cool bakery which wouldn’t be out of place in Copenhagen, never mind East London. The unit has been a few different concepts over the years, including tsp, whose cupcakes we miss dearly. The Corner, however, might just be our favourite iteration. It’s all minimalist interiors and smatterings of succulents, and the coffee and food is seriously amazing. If you want the perfect spot to pitch up with a book for a few hours – you just found it. 

And there you have it!

Those are just a few of the many amazing small independent businesses that contribute to the awesome atmosphere in Piccadilly, the Shoreditch of Stoke. To keep up to date with all the latest cultural news in Stoke, keep an eye on our blog and our Twitter.

How to decorate your apartment sustainably for Christmas

For those passionate about sustainability, but simultaneously obsessed with all things glittery, festive and merry, Christmas decorations can be a bit of a tricky one.

One the one hand, images of a holiday extravaganza are conjured up in your mind; on the other, the devastating effects of the climate disaster (and how bad glitter is for marine life!).

As champions of all things sustainable at Clayworks, we’re taking a leaf out of the Scandis’ books this Christmas, and fostering a vibe in our homes which is both hygge and non-harmful.

It’s possible to decorate your home guilt-free, by using sustainable decorations that you can either make yourself or source from ethically responsible brands. We’ve pulled together a list of our favourites here that have created some beautiful holiday decorations – so your apartment can be Christmassy and conscious!

Protect the Planet 

This eco-friendly gift store is a wonderful option for your sustainable Christmas decoration mission. Protect the Planet has a stunning range of fair-trade recycled glass baubles, as well as lanterns, wreaths and place markers that are largely recycled. And they’re so pretty you’ll want to keep them up all year!

Not On The High Street

Not On The High Street, the home to so many small, independent businesses, unsurprisingly has a wonderful offering of sustainable festive decorations. Their ‘Conscious Christmas’ collection has so many delights on offer, including reusable fabric christmas crackers, wooden baubles and reusable gift wraps. Offered at a range of prices, there’s something to delight everyone in the collection.


Wearth is an online marketplace that partners with eco-friendly and ethical brands from across the UK to make it easy for you to shop more consciously. Their range of sustainable decorations, like their Biodegradable Christmas Glitter Kit, sit alongside a glittering array of Christmas gifts, so you can do your decorations and your Christmas shopping all in one place.

They also allow you to shop by the value that’s most important to you – whether plastic-free, organic, social contribution, or made in the UK.

It’s never been so easy – or stylish – to do the holidays sustainably. We’ll be stocking up on their reusable Christmas crackers!

Beaumont Organic

If you’re looking for some beautiful finishing touches to your decorations, or are on the gift hunt for the eco-warrior in your life, you couldn’t do much better than Beaumont Organic. Created by one-woman powerhouse Hannah Beaumont Laurencia, its mission is to create beautiful, high-quality clothing and accessories which pave the way for a more sustainable fashion industry.

You can rest assured that a purchase from its online store will not only elevate your look to ‘effortlessly cool’, but that you’ll also be doing something positive for the planet.

Or Make It Yourself! 

Get your hands dirty (or paint-splattered) by making your own Christmas decorations. Using dried fruit, scrap bits of wrapping paper or ribbon, or any materials you have lying around that can be upcycled, can lead to some stunning Christmas decorations. They’ll also give you added bragging rights!

Here are some fun suggestions of decs you could make.

So there you have it!

There are some wonderful eco-friendly brands who are doing brilliant work in putting green values at the heart of Christmas.

Sustainability is a cornerstone of all Clayworks spaces, and we take our responsibility to our planet very seriously. Using optimal energy, having a waste/recycling plan, and buying environmentally-friendly cleaning products are just some of the little things that we do to try and mitigate damage to our environment.

Keep up to date with all the latest Clayworks and Smithfield news, as well as news from the wider community in Stoke-on-Trent, by checking out our Twitter.

Stoke-on-Trent’s best live music venues

As any true Stokie knows, Stoke-on-Trent has an amazing range of live music venues that will delight any music lover. Whatever genre gets your toe tapping – classical, punk, or pop – the Stoke-on-Trent music scene has something to offer. 

Our hearts have gone out to our local live music establishments this year, as the entire sector has been plunged into uncertainty thanks to the pandemic. 

We’ve compiled a list of some of our personal favourites around Smithfield to get you inspired to head out and experience the joy of live music once it’s safe to!

The Sugarmill

Open since 1994, The Sugarmill has hosted hundreds of famous bands, including Elbow, Daft Punk, Biffy Clyro and You Me at Six, and continues to have ace bands gracing its legendary stage. The Sugarmill team really promotes the local band scene, whilst also bringing some big names to our city. Watch out for their club nights too (Electric Friday is the longest running alternative club night in Staffordshire!). 


We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Eleven. It’s a brilliant intimate gig venue, that holds up to 350 people, which promises to provide a pumping night full of belting tunes. Next year will see some great tributes to the likes of Queen, Guns N Roses and Michael Jackson, as well as some new emerging artists play too. We also love the separate bar area, where you can enjoy a slightly more relaxed drink if that’s more your pace. 

Victoria Hall 

The recently renovated Victoria Hall, located in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent’s Cultural Quarter, is a stunning concert hall with the capacity to hold 1,467 people. You might know it for its breathtaking glass-roofed atrium, but it also does a wonderful selection of concerts for jazz and classical music lovers. We are especially looking forward to its renowned Organ Proms event in 2021, which sees the world’s finest organists come together to play a thrilling concert. 

The Underground 

The Underground is an iconic music venue in Hanley that is actually part of Club NME! It’s well known for having up and coming indie, metal and rock acts play, as well as local Staffordshire bands. King Kurt are playing in April and we can’t wait. 

Appetite Stoke – various

The team at Appetite is driven by a mission to provide the people of Stoke-on-Trent with arts and culture events that will inspire, motivate and entertain. Live music offerings are part of their wider vision, and culminate in everything from fantastic intimate folk gigs in bus stations to large scale music nights. We love how dedicated they are to our community! Keep an eye on their socials to be up to date with all of their live music events.  

And there you have it! 

Those are just a few of the myriad of live music venues in Stoke that promise to deliver an unforgettable night. Stoke-on-Trent has always been so rich in culture, and we are proud of all the wonderful venues who continue to offer such cutting-edge, exciting musical experiences today. We are really looking forward to embracing our vibrant cultural scene again as soon as we can. 

To keep up to date with all the latest cultural news in Stoke-on-Trent, keep an eye on our blog and our Twitter.

Clayworks reaches practical completion as first residents prepare to move in

Stoke-on-Trent’s first ever build-to-rent scheme has reached practical completion, shortly after the neighbouring Hilton Garden Inn announced its official opening last week.

The development, which forms part of Genr8’s £250m Smithfield scheme in Hanley, is due to welcome its first residents from this week.

Clayworks is owned by Fortior Homes, and is its second development to complete, following on from Chamberlain Court in Penkhull and preceding the 128 home Saxon Place development at Lichfield Street in Hanley.

Cllr Abi Brown, leader of the city council and chair of Fortior Homes, said: “This feels like another really significant moment in the regeneration of Stoke-on-Trent. I doubt there are many city centres in the country right now which have seen both a major hotel and a separate 151-apartment block within touching distance of one another celebrate their official opening in the space of a week. I think that speaks volumes for the direction our city is heading in and is another example of how we are getting things done.

“Historically there has been a lack of residential development in Hanley compared to other similar-sized cities, and we’ve been clear from the start about the need to improve the city centre living offer. This development sets a benchmark for similar schemes that will follow and puts permanent residents in the heart of our city centre – providing a significant boost to footfall and nearby businesses at a crucial time for our economy.

“In spite of the challenges faced by the coronavirus, we are seeing huge progress in the city. We will continue to create choice and opportunities for our residents and continue to be an ambitious council that wants to attract equally ambitious partners to deliver jobs and prosperity for Stoke-on-Trent. We’re powering up all elements of the city to ensure we come out of the pandemic stronger on the other side.”

Richard Ingham, partner at Genr8 Developments, the developer delivering Smithfield, commented: “To have Clayworks and the Hilton Garden Inn opening so close together is brilliant – Smithfield is now a truly mixed-use neighbourhood and it’s really generating a buzz around the city

“We’re proud to have brought this build-to-rent product to the region for the very first time, and the take-up has been great; having the scheme over half let pre-completion demonstrates the appetite within Stoke-on-Trent for high quality , contemporary, city centre living.

“The team at LIV has been working hard to ensure that our new residents will have a safe and smooth move-in process, in keeping with COVID-19 guidelines.

“Smithfield will play a crucial role in powering up the city in the aftermath of the pandemic. The Estates art exhibition currently in situ at the site has proved really popular and has driven much-needed footfall back into the city centre. This, coupled with the influx of people living and spending in the city that Clayworks will bring, will help breathe life back into Hanley and Stoke-on-Trent.”

Clayworks is the first build-to-rent apartment scheme to have been delivered in Stoke-on-Trent and is another significant step forward in the city’s ambitious regeneration plans.

The style of renting is influenced by the hospitality sector, placing resident experience at the heart and providing a more complete ‘lifestyle’ offering. Occupiers of the apartments are able to utilise at their leisure on-site facilities including co-working space, a landscaped roof garden with BBQ, a communal residents’ lounge, and more.

The specification of the apartments is also notably higher than existing schemes on the market in the city, with residents benefitting from high-quality fitted kitchens, the opportunity to include a furniture package, and bathrooms with locally produced Johnson’s tiles.

Build-to-rent specialist LIV Group was selected by Genr8 and Fortior to oversee the management and operations of the apartments, with the Leeds-headquartered firm successfully letting more than half of the units at Clayworks prior to completion.

Those who wish to become part of the community at Clayworks are encouraged to enquire about taking an apartment whilst units are still available. Clayworks features 43 studio apartments, from £495 pcm; 44 one-bedroom apartments, from £550 pcm; and 64 two-bedroom apartments, from £750pcm. The two-bedroom apartments are ideal for sharers, with equal size bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom, enabling city centre living to be enjoyed from as little as £375pcm per person.


Renters who would like to book a virtual tour or get more information about the development are encouraged to contact the Clayworks team on 01782 948 771, or by emailing

Clayworks apartments giving virtual tours to renters in face of COVID-19 – how to book your slot

Stoke-on-Trent’s first-ever build-to-rent apartment scheme, Clayworks, is ensuring that potential residents can still secure their dream homes – thanks to a COVID-19 pivot strategy that has seen it take all its viewings online.

Renters will be guided through the contemporary studio, one and two-bedroom apartments – which are situated in the Smithfield development in Hanley – via video, with one of the Clayworks team on hand to answer any question they might have and help them identify next steps.

The move comes as it was recently revealed that the apartments and the Hilton Garden Inn hotel at the site are on track for a late summer completion in spite of the global pandemic.

Richard Swann, asset manager at LIV Group – the company responsible for leasing and managing the apartments – said: “The coronavirus pandemic has thrown absolutely everything into uncertainty, so it was important to us that we could still give potential residents a flavour for what life at Clayworks will be like – and a sense of security that their move-ins will still be able to go ahead.

“We’re fortunate to have the tech to be able to support this – we’ve been sending out videos of the show apartments to residents for a few months now, and from 15 June, we have been carrying out live video viewings.

“It’s very possible that, looking ahead, we see the residential property industry shift full-time towards remote and tech-driven leasing. Whilst it’s presented a certain set of challenges, COVID-19 has also demonstrated that renters are responding well to this type of marketing, and there could be scope to operate more frequently on this basis and use resource formerly allocated to in-person viewings elsewhere.”

The video showcases the sleek interiors of the apartments, which feature bathroom tiles from local ceramics producer Johnson Tiles and high-spec fitted kitchens. The show apartments have also been loaned a full suite of crockery from Stoke-on-Trent mainstay, Churchill China.

The 11-storey tower of 151 apartments – the first of two – will provide community-focused rental options with many perks, a key feature of build-to-rent developments.

Upon completion in Q3 this year, the scheme will boast a large, welcoming lobby, a postal room, cycle storage, co-working space, bookable event rooms with kitchen spaces, a roof terrace with BBQ facilities, and a private, landscaped courtyard.

It is expected that residents will be able to move in from September.

Richard added: “Clayworks is being built with style and practicality in mind. The apartments have high-quality, modern, and robust finishes, and are also designed with energy efficiency and low running costs in mind.

“We’re confident that they’re unlike anything else currently on the market in Stoke-on-Trent, and we’re targeting the city’s growing young professional population, as well as downsizers. The amenity on offer at the scheme will cater seamlessly to these groups, affording them a community-focused lifestyle which will support their busy lives.”

Cllr Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Fortior Board chair, said: “We remain extremely excited about the Clayworks city centre living offer, a real first for Stoke-on-Trent. I’m pleased that we’re able to provide state-of-the-art digital viewing alternatives so people can see first-hand what they can expect from the high-end living experience at Clayworks.

“Interest has been high right from the start of the year, and although physical viewings aren’t as easy at the moment, we’re confident that this alternative option gives potential residents a good feel for the apartments – true city centre living at its best.”

Clayworks will feature 43 studio apartments, from £495 pcm; 44 one-bedroom apartments, from £550 pcm; and 64 two-bedroom apartments, from £750pcm. Renters who would like to book a virtual tour or get more information about the development are encouraged to contact the Clayworks team on 01782 948 771, or by emailing

The apartments are being constructed by Willmott Dixon and form part of the wider Smithfield development, which is being delivered by Genr8 Developments in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Fortior Homes, the council’s wholly-owned private housing company, will own and oversee the operations of Clayworks.

The ultimate guide to brunch in Stoke-on-Trent

There’s no denying it: Brunch is having a bit of a moment in the UK. The breakfast-lunch hybrid caters for all – mums with prams catching up over coffees; glam gangs of girls giggling over Mimosas; couples locking eyes over their Eggs Benedicts.

Luckily for us, as with most things we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to brunch venues in Stoke-on-Trent. With Smithfield’s prime positioning in the heart of the Cultural Quarter, we’re only a stone’s throw from everywhere we’ve listed below – so Smithfield visitors and Clayworks residents alike can get a piece of the action.

Here’s our favourites – round up your loved ones and get ready for a cosy weekend morning…

The Quarter Café

A mainstay of the Cultural Quarter, The Quarter Café opened its doors in 2016 and has become a firm favourite of the area. Café by day and arts venue in the evening, the cosy venue offers live music, comedy, poetry, and more homemade cakes than you can shake a stick at.

From avocado bruschetta to a full English, its brunch menu caters for everyone – check it out here, and book your table here.

Image result for the quarter cafe hanley

NØRTH Kitchen & Bar

We really weren’t exaggerating when we said the Cultural Quarter is a brunch hotspot. This incredibly cool neighbourhood hangout recently rebranded and got a makeover by local creative types NTRPRNS, which you can see in all its glory here.

NØRTH wouldn’t feel out of place in Shoreditch or the Northern Quarter, and it’s one of our favourite spots to catch up with friends over cocktails and craft beers. However, its brunch menu is where the magic really happens – it’s extensive, and caters to veggies, vegans, carnivores, and gluten-free types. The best part? You can bring your dog along too! Book your table here and thank us later.


BEAR Stone

A little further afield now, BEAR is located in Stone, just seven miles from the city. Housed in a beautiful ex-bank on Stone’s historic high street, this light and airy loft-style space transports you straight to Manhattan as soon as you step inside it.

BEAR is chock-full of cosy nooks and crannies to curl up with a book or large tables to get all of your friends around for a catch-up.

The coffee is some of the best you can find in our corner of the world, but if you’re feeling adventurous, opt for the Funday Brunch. Each Sunday, you can choose any three items off the brunch menu and three drinks (including their cocktails!) for £20 per person. Book here.

Image result for bear stone

The Exchange

Back home now to Hanley, and to one of the area’s best all-day dining venues. The Exchange has been doing that ‘effortlessly cool’ thing since time immemorial and is best known as the place where you can pitch up with your friends for a burger at 1pm and somehow find yourself dancing the night away in its basement at 1am.

The former telephone exchange building has an American-influenced menu, and is a failsafe for a good coffee and an excellent meal. Book your table here.

The Restaurant - Picture of The Exchange Bar and Kitchen, Hanley -  Tripadvisor


Sound off

So – here’s our favourite venues to get a brilliant brunch in Stoke-on-Trent. Think we’ve missed off any Stoke brunch stalwarts? Let us know where your hidden gems are by tweeting us over at @SmithfieldST1!

Why the build-to-rent lifestyle is perfect for families

Statistics show that the number of families living in the private rented sector (PRS) has increased by 103% in just 10 years – with families now making up 1 in 6 privately rented households.

Build-to-rent is an ever-expanding sub-sect of the private rented sector, with new schemes like Clayworks appearing all over the UK. Appetite for the apartments in these developments is particularly high among young, urbane demographics – but what about families?

In this piece, we’ll look to talk about how build-to-rent can help support a thriving family environment, and why more young families should consider making the jump to a BTR flat of their very own.

Third space

Build-to-rent developments focus heavily on the ‘third space’ – that’s to say, communal areas and shared spaces. These can encompass residents’ lounges, roof terraces, and gardens, as Clayworks is set to have, in order to encourage social interaction.

With younger occupiers, this can mean they have a number of go-to areas to socialise and share a drink or a coffee. For families, though, it can offer a ready-made space for children to play together, which is conveniently close to home and safe. The closer quarters of apartments can be offset by the larger, relaxing communal spaces, where parents have time to unwind and keep an eye on little ones.

These areas also provide a degree of flexibility to parents who might work full-time – Clayworks comes equipped with a state-of-the-art co-working space with superfast WiFi, meaning professional parents can easily work from home and don’t have to worry about footing the cost of childcare.


Build-to-rent developments are known for their robust, diverse events programmes, which can see activities like craft workshops and yoga put on for residents in shared spaces.

Concierges aim to make the schedules of events bespoke, tailoring them around what occupiers would like to see – so any residents with children could benefit from having family-friendly pop-ups taking place on their doorsteps.

Safe and sound

Build-to-rent developments such as Clayworks boast a high level of security, with concierge desks often manned round-the-clock and fob access required to gain entry into all areas of the building. This means families can rest easy in the knowledge that their children will be safe when exploring the building, and that come night time, their apartments will be secure.

Friendly, dedicated teams

On-site concierge teams are par for the course in build-to-rent apartment blocks, with a full suite of staff on hand to ensure that residents can enjoy hassle-free day-to-day lives. It’s the responsibility of the concierges to know everything that’s going on in the local area, so Clayworks’ friendly team, for example, would be able to point parents in the direction of family-friendly clay workshops happening at Middleport Pottery, or help source tickets for Just So Festival.

On a more practical level, staff at Clayworks would also be able to make recommendations for local childcare providers for busy, working parents – helping to tick one more thing off a long to-do list.


We get it: Accidents happen. Accidents can happen even more when curious little minds start exploring their surroundings! If someone (ahem) has decided to fill your dishwasher with washing-up liquid and set it off, the Clayworks residents’ app will allow you to quickly submit a maintenance report and schedule a convenient time for a handyman to come round and take a look at it.

What are you waiting for?

If you’re a local parent reading this and you think that high-quality, secure, apartments with a built-in supportive lifestyle sounds good to you, get in touch with our lettings team to discuss your options.

We can’t wait to meet you!

Share your thoughts

Do you think more families should consider BTR when choosing where to put down roots? Let us know your thoughts by following us @SmithfieldST1, which is where you can also keep up to date with all things Smithfield related.

Why the build-to-rent lifestyle is perfect for young professionals

You may have heard millennials referred to as ‘Generation Rent’. This group of young people have grown up in a time when owning a property has seemed increasingly like a distant dream, with many opting to spend most of their adult lives renting.

It comes as no surprise, then, that a large chunk of this age group has been naturally drawn to build-to-rent apartments, opting for a flexible, comfortable style of living which puts resident needs first and takes much of the hassle out of being a renter.

In this blog, we’ll be explaining exactly why young professionals and BTR homes are a match made in heaven…

Location, location, location

Amenity and ease are the order of the day at build-to-rent schemes such as Clayworks, which is why so many of them are located in the beating hearts of city centres.

Developers and investors want residents to be close to everything a city has to offer, meaning you can often rent a build-to-rent flat which is a stone’s throw from bars, restaurants, gyms, galleries, museums, and close to all local public transport.

Take Clayworks, for example: in our neighbourhood, we’re just around the corner from The Quarter Café, Klay’s, Bottel Craft, The Slamwich Club, and all the phenomenal independents that call Piccadilly home. Meeting your friends for post-work dinner and drinks has never been more convenient!

Being connected to public transport or walking distance to work also makes commuting a breeze.

Getting social

One of the key selling points of a build-to-rent apartment is how sociable the wider development usually is.

A team of friendly on-site staff, made up of community managers and concierges, play a big role in fostering a community spirit and looking after resident welfare.

They coordinate a diverse, vibrant events programme for occupiers, which includes everything from summer barbeques and Christmas parties to group yoga sessions and craft workshops.

For young professionals who may have moved away from home to climb the career ladder in a city, build-to-rent living is a perfect way to meet a whole host of likeminded neighbours who they can form last friendships with.


Let’s face it – between holding down a job, going to networking events, seeing friends, making time for loved ones, enjoying hobbies and trying to practice a little self-care, the life of a young professional can be hectic.

That’s why build-to-rent is the perfect solution for busy millennials, as every amenity you may need is brought under one roof and right to your front door.

Most build-to-rent apartments offer perks such as gyms, parcel services, an app which lets residents book maintenance appointments, and a 24/7 concierge who can offer recommendations on places to eat or where the best dry-cleaning service is located. The high-end (and high price) BTR blocks can even include things like dog grooming services, swimming pools, spas, cinemas and private chefs – all included in the price of your monthly rent.

Clayworks offers a fantastic level of amenity, coupled with an abundance of shared spaces, such as a rooftop garden, resident’s lounge, and co-working space – so if you’re working from home, you can do so in a professional, clean and comfortable environment, with superfast Wi-Fi.


Moving house is almost always a stressful experience, and build-to-rent apartment block managers often put measures in place to alleviate some of that stress. Many blocks offer move-in day appointments overseen by the site team, and will incorporate the ‘little’ touches such as arranging permits for moving vans where necessary, and conducting site tours once you’re settled in.

Build-to-rent apartments usually benefit from a degree of flexibility where contracts are considered, too.  Long-term renters can be granted security with long-term contracts, and younger people whose living situations may change rapidly can often be accommodated for too.

The ease of having things like Wi-Fi and cycle storage included in the monthly rent cost means that your list of things to worry about when moving is smaller and easier to tackle.

Get in touch

So, does sociable, flexible, upscale and hassle-free living sound good to you? Get in touch with the Clayworks team to book your viewing appointment and learn more about this revolutionary way of renting for Stoke-on-Trent. You’ll be surprised at just how affordable it is…

Don’t forget to follow @SmithfieldST1 on Twitter to keep up with everything Smithfield-related, including events, announcements and site updates.

How build-to-rent can help to combat urban loneliness

A 2018 survey from The Economist revealed that more than two in ten adults in the UK often feel lonely, lack companionship, or feel left out or isolated.

A similar piece of research released in October 2018 by the BBC also found that a third of Brits said they often or very often feel lonely.

The UK is in the grips of a loneliness epidemic, and its impact is concerning – scientists found in a 2017 report that loneliness is as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

The number of single households is on the rise, and due to increase by a quarter (1.7m) by 2039, according to government projections. Therefore, many working-age Britons spend a sizeable chunk of their time commuting, getting their heads down at work, and coming home in the evening to an empty house.

Slipping into this routine can see isolation quickly becoming the norm, with many people not realising how little social interaction they’re experiencing day-to-day for some time. Big cities tend to lack the tight-knit community feel often found in smaller towns and villages, making urban loneliness especially widespread in this day and age.

How build-to-rent can help

However, the rise and rise of build-to-rent living presents the UK with a unique opportunity to help combat the loneliness problem creeping in to our cities.

Build-to-rent apartments – sprung from the American multifamily style of living – are designed in a way which puts community at their very heart, incorporating far more shared space than is typically found in traditional PRS schemes.

Clayworks, for example, offers co-working space, a roof terrace, a private, landscaped courtyard, and a residents’ lounge – all free for people who live in the apartments to use however they’d like to. Each of these spaces encourage socialising between occupiers, and will play host to a variety of events throughout the year – meaning that residents will be able to share and bond over experiences together.

Events usually found in apartment blocks such as Clayworks can span everything from yoga to macramé workshops; Friday evening drinks to French lessons; and pop culture discussions to pop-up food stalls. They offer residents a relaxed, informal and familiar setting in which to forge new friendships, with likeminded people who may only live a few floors away.

A team that cares

Build-to-rent schemes also have a dedicated team of staff who can play a pivotal role in helping to ward off isolation and promote a community spirit.

Ordinarily, as the role requires so much face-to-face customer service, people appointed as community managers and concierges in developments like Clayworks are friendly, helpful and outgoing. It’s also their responsibility to have up-to-the-minute knowledge on what’s happening in and around Stoke-on-Trent – meaning they can recommend to you events taking place around the city based on your interests, allowing you to meet and connect with likeminded people.

They’re also big on resident welfare, getting to know you and your habits, likes and dislikes on a personal level.

Pets welcome!

And if you’re a natural introvert? Not to worry – many build-to-rent apartments are pet friendly, meaning your four-legged friends can come along for the ride. Studies have shown that animals, especially dogs, can be instrumental in helping to combat loneliness.

Overall, build-to-rent apartments like Clayworks help to foster real communities in their buildings, providing residents with ample opportunity to interact with each other and socialise. In today’s tech-first world, where FaceTime calls can often replace face-to-face conversations, experiencing human contact has never been more crucial.

Build-to-rent offers that in spades, in a stylish and modern setting – putting occupier needs first and making your life as comfortable as possible.

Get in touch

Like what you’re reading? Get in touch with the Clayworks team to discuss options, pricing or arrange a viewing.

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