What are Enterprise Zones?

Enterprise Zones create jobs and boost businesses in 24 areas across England.  They are great places to do business for both new and expanding firms, benefiting from government backing.

Established in 2012, Enterprise Zones are at the heart of the government’s long term economic plan, supporting businesses to grow. Since their start in April 2012 they have laid down the foundations for success for 540 businesses, attracting over £2.2 billion pounds of private sector investment, building world class business facilities and transport links and attracting 19,000 jobs. Momentum is now building across the programme and many zones are poised for substantial development in the coming months and years. A new bidding round will bring new opportunities for new zones.

Benefits for businesses

Benefits for local communities

Benefits for the UK economy



What benefits do Enterprise Zones offer for businesses?

Businesses basing themselves on Enterprise Zones 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

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced at Budget 2014 that the deadlines for accessing business rate discounts and enhanced capital allowances on Enterprise Zones would be extended by 3 years. This means that businesses have until March 2018 to locate on an Enterprise Zone to be able to access business rate discounts. On sites where enhanced capital allowances are available, businesses now have until March 2020 to make their investment. Businesses thinking about locating to an Enterprise Zone can find more information about investment opportunities at the Local Investment Showcase website.


What benefits do Enterprise Zones offer for 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 the 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.