Remaining UK Enterprise Zones Revealed
The Government has announced the remaining 13 new Enterprise Zones in England in a bid to kick-start economic growth in regions across the whole country.
New zones were announced at sites in Cornwall, Gosport, Cheshire, Norfolk, Hereford, Kent, Oxfordshire, West Essex, Suffolk, Northampton, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire and the Humber Estuary.
Businesses within the zones will be able to take advantage of cheaper business rates, reduced levels of planning control and superfast broadband.
Business groups in the winning regions welcomed the news. Chairwoman of the Federation of Small Businesses Mid and North West Essex branch, Glenys Chatterley, said the zone for West Essex would bring “big benefits” to the area by creating a focal point for business growth and employment.
“The scheme will attract more than 100 new businesses to the area, creating an additional 2,500 much-needed jobs.”
she said, adding that the local zone is likely to target health and medical technology companies.
In Newquay, where the new Enterprise Zone will focus on the aerospace sector, Al Titterington, managing director of Newquay Cornwall Airport, said the initiative was important to the whole Cornish economy and would bring high-value jobs.
“A number of major aerospace companies have said the zone will add significant value. This really is great news,” he said.
But the Forum of Private Business (FPB) said similar schemes had been attempted before, “without real success”.
FPB spokesman Phil McCabe said:
“If these zones genuinely stimulate jobs and enterprise, then they will be of real benefit. But this isn’t a new idea – similar schemes were set up in the 1980s and they didn’t work because they simply moved workers from one area to another, rather than create new jobs.”
Announcing the sites, Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“We are determined to do everything we can to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”
“Enterprise Zones are a major step towards delivering this – cutting business taxes, easing planning restrictions and giving business the tools they need to invest and expand.”
Around 30,000 jobs would be created by 2015, the Government said, supported by £150 million in tax breaks for qualifying businesses. Zones were selected based on competitive bids from local councils and enterprise partnerships.