What are Enterprise Zones?

Enterprise Zones are designated areas across England that provide tax breaks and Government support.  They are great places to do business especially for both new and expanding firms.

Established in 2012, Enterprise Zones are at the heart of the Government’s long-term economic plan, supporting businesses to grow. Since starting in April 2012 they have laid down the foundations for success for 635 businesses, attracting over £2.4 billion pounds of private sector investment, building world class business facilities and transport links and attracting nearly 24,000 jobs (find more information about this data here). The success of the programme led to more Enterprise Zones being announced in the Autumn Statement in 2015 and in the March Budget. Up to 48 Enterprise Zones are currently planned to be in place by the beginning of April 2017.

Benefits for businesses

Benefits for local communities

Benefits for the UK economy


What benefits do Enterprise Zones offer businesses?

Businesses that locate on an Enterprise Zone can access a number of benefits:

  • Up to 100% business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per business over a 5-year period
  • Simplified local authority planning, for example, through Local Development Orders that grant automatic planning permission for certain development (such as new industrial buildings or changing how existing buildings are used) within specified areas
  • Government support to ensure that superfast broadband is rolled out throughout the zone, and, if necessary, public funding
  • 100% enhanced capital allowances (tax relief) to businesses making large investments in plant and machinery on 8 Zones in Assisted Areas

Businesses that locate on sites from the first round of Enterprise Zones must have done so before March 2018 to be able to access business rate reliefs. For new Zones starting in April 2016, they will need to have located onto the Zone before March 2021 to qualify.

On EZ sites where enhanced capital allowances are available (assisted areas), businesses now have up to eight years from the launch of the EZ to make their investment. Businesses thinking about locating to an Enterprise Zone can also find more information about investment opportunities at the Local Investment Showcase website.

What benefits do Enterprise Zones offer local communities?

Enterprise Zones are establishing themselves as the driving force of local economies as they unlock key development sites, consolidate infrastructure, attract business and create jobs.

All business rates growth generated by the Enterprise Zone is kept by the relevant local enterprise partnership and local authorities in the areas for 25 years to reinvest in local economic growth. For the Local Enterprise Partnerships with Enterprise Zones, this represents the government’s most significant commitment to long-term economic growth.

In addition, the Government is committed to working actively with Enterprise Zones to help to unblock any barriers to delivery, such as Department for Transport support on transport infrastructure, Defra support on addressing environmental issues and UKTI advice on marketing Zones to international investors.

What benefits do Enterprise Zones offer for UK economy?

Enterprise Zones are helping to attract more foreign investment into the country, and are bringing jobs and businesses across England. They are about delivering long-term, sustainable growth based on cutting-edge technology and enterprise. Businesses are clustering around centres of excellence in key sectors such as financial services, bio-sciences, digital and creative industries, advanced engineering, automotive, and renewable energy.