The Government is making an extra £100 million available to England’s 24 Enterprise Zones to help fuel their growth and development.
The money, on top of nearly £700 million of existing public investment, will fund projects such as road building and land clearance to unlock areas previously idle. It will be a competitive fund with zones able to submit one bid each.
Speaking about the funding boost Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said Enterprise Zones are central to plans to back business and ‘give the UK that competitive edge’. The Government wants the Zones to flourish and Mr Pickles added that ensuring getting the right infrastructure in place will help attract even more businesses and create many more local jobs.
Enterprise zones are already helping to put the UK back on the map with foreign investors. The zones are showing progress with over 180 businesses, half a billion pounds of private sector investment and nearly 4,000 jobs, and many more in the pipeline.
They are steadily attracting significant international businesses like Lockheed Martin and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as enhancing world class centres of excellence and creating new jobs in key sectors like automotive, aerospace and offshore wind. Other key foreign investments in the zones include:
- a Chinese developer investing £1 billion to create a state-of-the-art business district in the London Royal Docks zone which will create an estimate 20,000 jobs
- synthetic diamond firm Element Six opening a new £20 million research and development centre at Science Vale Enterprise Zone in Oxfordshire
- LICenergy, a subsidiary of a leading Danish offshore and marine engineering company that joined the Bristol Enterprise Zone
- Bosch Engineering establishing a new automotive research and development facility at MIRA Enterprise Zone
- Peel Group’s joint venture with Sam Wa International to build the country’s first International Trade Centre at Mersey Waters
Enterprise Zones are a big hit with small and medium enterprises and key supply chain firms which are moving to the zones to take advantage of their tax, planning and infrastructure benefits. For example, Sci Tech Daresbury already has attracted 13 new science and technology businesses in the zone and will be commencing infrastructure works and new build of office and laboratory space later this year.
Last week the Prime Minister reinforced his commitment to supporting businesses and ensuring that Britain can continue to attract investment and remain competitive on a world stage. This cash injection into the zones will support that, ensuring areas across the country can create the right conditions for investment.
To see where each of the Zones are located see the enterprise zones map.