New £60m fund for Enterprise Zone Growth announced

February 25th, 2013




A new fund will deliver the infrastructure that Enterprise Zones need to become economic engine rooms and drive growth across the country, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced today.

The Government is inviting Enterprise Zones to apply for £59 million worth of investment to help ‘turn shovel ready sites into job ready sites’ by completing key infrastructure projects.

There a currently four Enterprise Zones in the North West – Mersey Waters in Liverpool and Wirral, Manchester Airport City in Manchester, Sci-Tech Daresbury in Halton, and Lancashire’s BAE Systems sites in the South Ribble and Lancaster boroughs.

This fund will help Zones with real growth potential to put in place the infrastructure required to unlock sites so businesses can set up. This could mean links to local road networks or reconfiguring site layouts; upgrading or installing utilities like electricity and water; or land remediation to reclaim contaminated land.

A central plank in the Government’s economic growth strategy, Ministers want to see Enterprise Zones accelerating activity to give them that global competitive edge needed to attract firms. Mr Pickles has asked Local Enterprise Partnerships to have delivery plans for all 24 zones in place by the start of the next financial year.

Eric Pickles said:

“Economic growth is this Government’s biggest priority and Enterprise Zones are the engine room of that strategy. They are a fantastic way to attract the jobs and business investment that local areas need. This new £60m Fund will turbo charge that engine by turning shovel ready sites into job ready sites.  

“Enterprise Zones have all the raw ingredients and growth incentives – simplified planning, low tax, super fast broadband and inward investment – they need to translate their potential into jobs and growth success. This is an opportunity to lay the infrastructure foundations so they are ‘gift wrapped’ ready to house new businesses.

“It is time for Enterprise Zones to take up the gauntlet of growth. Local Enterprise Partnerships can do more to make Zones realise their potential sooner. The Government is determined to work flat out with partnerships to clear any roadblocks in their Zone’s path so they can forge ahead and deliver the jobs the country's economy needs.”

Accelerating delivery

Enterprise Zones are designed to stimulate economic growth by offering tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband to attract new business ventures. There are 24 Enterprise Zones made up of 142 sites. Since they opened for business last April, they have already created around 1,700 jobs and attracted £155m of private sector investment.  In the coming months more jobs and investment are expected to come forward.

In the North West Enterprise Zones are already making significant progress:

  • Manchester Airport City Enterprise Zone – has planning permission for the development of a £100 million World Logistics Hub. The new venture will attract new international businesses and help the existing airport businesses to expand, creating over 1800 new jobs and over one million square feet of high quality logistics space.

Further Information:

  1. This fund is part of the Local Infrastructure Fund announced at Autumn Statement which provides £474 million to for infrastructure investment and other site preparation works that will support economic growth, jobs and homes. The fund will operate for England only.  The Local Infrastructure Fund Prospectus also invites locally-led large housing sites to come forward.
  1. Enterprise Zones reflect the Government’s core belief that economic growth and job creation should be led by the private sector. The Zones are focused on removing barriers to private sector growth with lower tax levels for business and a simplified planning regime and a lighter regulatory and administrative burden.
  1. The Enterprise Zone Programme is made up of 24 Zones and over 140 sites covering approx 3,400 hectares, ranging from 0.18 to 279 hectares. Largest Zones are in Humber- Humber Renewable Energy Super Custer and Humber Green Port Corridor- totalling around 480ha.
  1. The 24 Enterprise Zones opened for business in April 2012.  In their first 9 months since going live, they secured £155m of private sector investment, created 60,000 square feet of floorspace and attracted around 1700 jobs- notably 500 aerospace jobs at Moog (Black Country) and 300 new jobs on the Temple Quarter site (Bristol).
  1. Enterprise Zones have secured over £160m of public sector investment, with £36m coming from Growing Places Fund. Other sources include RGF, ERDF and Pinch Point Funding
  1. All Enterprise Zones have a form of simplified planning in place- currently up to 35 Local Development Orders on 13 Zones
  1. All Enterprise Zones benefit from:
  • a business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per eligible business over a five year period;
  • all business rates growth within the zone for a period of at least 25 years will be shared and retained by the local area, to support the Partnership’s economic priorities and ensure that growth is reinvested locally;
  • simplified planning approaches, including Local Development Orders; and
  • the rollout of superfast broadband.

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