Twelve Enterprise Zone bids have been shortlisted to complete critical ‘nuts and bolts’ infrastructure that will turn dormant sites into prime economic land, attracting new businesses and jobs to Harlow, Humber, Leeds, Sheffield, Kent, Oxford, Daresbury, Alconbury, London’s Royal Docks, the Black Country, Nottingham and the Solent.
The funding for road building, refurbishment, utility supply and land clearance will mean that 3.5 million square metres of land is brought back into use and 124,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace will be created by 2015. In addition 10 kilometres of new road and 2 new bridges will be constructed, reducing congestion for residents and increasing the access to new enterprise zone sites for business.
All bids announced as shortlisted are ‘in principle’ decisions and areas will be asked to prepare a full business case. The following zones have been shortlisted to receive:
- Harlow Enterprise Zone: up to £11.21 million to build 1.2 kilometres of new roads and transform vacant land so it is ready for private sector development in 2015. By 2025, the ambition is to deliver 45,000 square metres of new floorspace and 2,300 new jobs in advanced manufacturing, technology and pharmaceuticals.
- Humber Enterprise Zone: up to £14.94 million to speed up delivery of key infrastructure at Able Marine Energy Park, subject to planning permission. The Humber Energy Estuary is set to become the centre of the global offshore wind industry. The zone will now be able to create a ‘renewable energy super cluster’. By 2020, 1,300 metres of quays and 4,100 new jobs should have been created, marking the start of work on a £440 million development project.
- Aire Valley Leed Enterprise Zone: £8.57 million for remediation and infrastructure work, opening up key sites to attract advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, creating 630 new jobs and delivering over 33,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace in the long term.
- Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone: up to £14.2 million for Markham Vale, a leading logistics and distribution park off the M1. In the long term, the grant will generate a further £95.7 million of private sector investment, create 2,100 jobs and build new access roads, 180,000 square feet of commercial floorspace and unlock a further 33 hectares of land for development.
- Science Vale Enterprise Zone, Oxford: up to £7 million to build a 40,000 square feet of highly specialised laboratory and bioscience innovation hub that will create 370 new jobs.
- Sci-Tech Daresbury Enterprise Zone: up to £3.58 million enabling the build of the new Techspace building. This could double the amount of building space available on the site and ensure it can provide the infrastructure small to medium sized data-intensive companies need.
- Alconbury Enterprise Zone: up to £5 million for landscaping, demolition, infrastructure, and utility works. These vital improvements will lay the groundwork for high-quality office developments, expected to employ up to 600 people by 2016.
- London’s Royal Docks Enterprise Zone: up to £12 million to kick-start 2 world class infrastructure developments. A ground breaking design for a new bridge at Silvertown will link the north and south sides of the docks. The Millennium Mills development will transform an iconic but dilapidated industrial building – stripping out asbestos and making vital structural renovations turning it into an attractive modern work space.
- Black Country Enterprise Zone: up to £6.25 million to develop 11 hectares of land at the i54 site. This will include road improvements and abnormal works to bring forward the availability of the remaining development plots to occupiers.
- Nottingham Enterprise Zone: up to £5.5 million to unlock the MediPark health science site by decontaminating land, building an access road, enhancing flood protection, and building a new pedestrian footbridge, When complete, the 20,500 square metres project will employ up to 900 people, and develop the next generation of medical innovation.
- Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus: up to £7.09 million to unlock the Waterfront’s full potential by constructing over 1 kilometre of new road and remediating contaminated land.
- Discovery Park, Sandwich: up to £6.05million for the refurbishment and fitting out of 3 vacant buildings (or parts of buildings) for employment use.
Enterprise Zones have already attracted 250 businesses, secured £1.1 billion of private sector investment and created over 7000 local jobs.