Boost for business as Government backs new Enterprise Zones

Posted on 20 March 2015 · Posted in Uncategorized

Businesses across the country have been given a major boost after the Government outlined plans to launch two new Enterprise Zones while extending several more of the thriving business hubs.

Under measures announced by the Chancellor in the Budget, both Blackpool and Plymouth are in line to become the latest places to benefit from the top-class business incentives and world-class infrastructure that Enterprise Zones bring to their local economies and communities.

The Government is also looking to extend the Discovery Park Enterprise Zone in Kent, while extensions have been rubberstamped for Motor Industry Research Association Technology Park in the Midlands, Tees, Humber, Leeds, Mersey Waters, Manchester and Oxford.

The Enterprise Zones estimate that over their 25-year lifespan these measures could deliver at least an extra 3.3 million square metres of state-of-the-art workspace – the equivalent of more than 460 Wembley football pitches – and provide space for thousands of more jobs.

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “Enterprise Zones are driving forward our economy, creating thousands of jobs and attracting billions of pounds in private investment. Extending the programme as part of our long-term economic plan means we can build on that success, allowing hundreds more companies to benefit from the top-class business incentives and world-class infrastructure that these thriving business hubs offer. It will mean thousands more jobs for hard-working people and a real boost to local business.”

Enterprise Zones have already provided a major boost to the UK economy, creating more than 15,500 jobs, attracting over 480 companies and drawing down £2 billion in private investment.

Offering top-class business incentives, including allowing local enterprise partnerships to retain all business rates growth to reinvest in local economies, the Enterprise Zones have transformed many derelict and challenging sites.

The latest measure will ensure that they have the space to continue this growth, delivering further benefits to local communities, including a boost to the local construction sector and supply chain.

They include:

  • plans for a new Enterprise Zone at Blackpool Airport. The 144-hectare site will build on the existing strength of the local economy, including the oil and gas industry. The Enterprise Zone estimates the plans could deliver more than 176,000 square metres of floor space and create more than 1,000 jobs;
  • a planned new Enterprise Zone in Plymouth on the South Yard naval dockyard site that will be focused on growing the marine industry. The site has already received nearly £10 million through the Government’s City and Growth Deals and the designation of Enterprise Zone status could speed up development by three years. It is estimated the plans will deliver 55,000 square metres of new floor space, providing space for more than 500 jobs;
  • the Government is looking to extend Discovery Park Enterprise Zone. Discovery Park is building a deserved reputation as a centre of excellence for science and innovation. The move will deliver an estimated 13,500 square metres of new floor space that could deliver more than 1,000 jobs;
  • two new sites to meet increased demand at Manchester Enterprise Zone’s successful Airport City and MediPark developments. The current sites are likely to be full in five years, and the extensions will allow the Enterprise Zone to carry on its strong performance of attracting some of the biggest names in business like DHL and Etihad.  The extensions will deliver more than 105,000 square metres of floor space and space for up to 830 jobs;
  • a new site at the Tees Enterprise Zone that will focus on the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas – a new sector for the UK. Tees is strategically placed to develop the fledgling sector due to its close proximity to the oil fields of the North Sea. The move will deliver more than 120,000 square metres of floor space and provide space for nearly 1,000 jobs;
  • the extension of Motor Industry Research Association Technology Park in the Midlands to cement its reputation as the preeminent motor park in Europe and help them continue to attract international motor companies. The move could pave the way for an additional 23,000 square metres of work space for cutting-edge research and development with the potential to create up to 300 jobs;
  • a new site at the Humber Enterprise Zone for suppliers of the new £310 million offshore renewable energy development that is being spearheaded by Siemens;
  • a significant extension to Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone that will provide a major boost in the retention of business rates locally. This will allow local partners to bring forward major developments more quickly, creating hundreds of new jobs.
  • an extension at Oxford Science Vale that will help the thriving business hub build on its strong track record of attracting cutting-edge science companies to the area. The move will deliver 35,000 square metres of floor space, potentially creating more than 550 jobs; and
  • firms moving to the Logic Leeds and Temple Green sites at Leeds Enterprise Zone will be able to apply for Enhanced Capital Allowances to boost their business. The allowances allow companies to receive tax relief when they make large scale investments in plant and machinery and will encourage firms to move to these prime manufacturing sites. The Enterprise Zone estimates that this will allow them to deliver 276,000 square metres of floor space five years earlier than planned, creating space for nearly 1,500 jobs.

The Government launched its Enterprise Zone programme in April 2012 as part of a long-term project to rebalance the economy. Offering tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband to companies, they have been a real catalyst for growth.

This has meant a major boost to the UK construction sector with work already carried out to redevelop more than 100 hectares of land and deliver more than 5.4 million square feet of new or refurbished floor space. This has included a rise in so-called speculative builds where developers are so confident they will let new buildings that they push ahead with new builds without clients initially lined up to move in. More than £230 million has been committed to 31 of these projects across the country so far, meaning nearly 170,000 square metres of new office and industrial space will be rolled out by 2018.

The thriving business hubs are also playing a crucial role in plugging skills gaps across the UK with more than £65 million committed to new colleges and campuses at the Enterprise Zones.

Launched in collaboration with local businesses, they are teaching more than 2,000 apprentices and students this year alone the high-demand skills that will help local firms grow and succeed while giving hard-working people the skills necessary to carve out successful careers.

Notes to editors:

  • The Government has announced it will be extending seven of the 24 existing Enterprise Zones.
  • We will work with three places, Discovery Park to extend the Zone and Blackpool  and Plymouth to create new Zones subject to satisfactory business cases.
  • The changes are likely to start from April 2016.