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.

Enterprise Zones are part of the Government’s wider Industrial Strategy to support businesses and enable local economic growth. The first 24 Zones were launched in 2012 and 24 new Zones were created in 2016 and 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


  • 100% enhanced capital allowances (tax relief) to businesses making large investments in plant and machinery on 8 Zones in Assisted Areas


  • 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.

For new Zones starting in April 2016 or April 2017, businesses need to have located onto the Zone before March 2021 or March 2022 in order to qualify for a Government backed business rates discount.

Businesses locating onto one of the original 2012 Enterprise Zones may still be able to benefit from a local business rates discount. Existing businesses can continue to benefit from a Government backed rates discount for up to five years after they first located on the Zone.

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 Invest in GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland website.


What benefits do Enterprise Zones offer local communities?

Enterprise Zones have established 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. This reflects the Government’s commitment to long-term economic growth and enables Local Enterprise Partnerships to reinvest in site development and other local initiatives, such as workforce skills development.

In addition, the Government is working actively with Enterprise Zones to help to unblock any barriers to delivery, such as Department for Transport support with transport infrastructure, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs support in promptly addressing environmental issues and advice on marketing Zones to international investors from the Department for International Trade.

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.