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£100 million investment to give enterprise zones business edge

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£100 million investment to give enterprise zones business edge

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Eric Pickles announces extra funding for enterprise zones to complete infrastructure projects and compete for new businesses.

This government is putting an extra £100 million on the table so enterprise zones can complete key infrastructure projects and successfully compete for the new businesses that will create thousands of local jobs across the country, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced today (7 October 2013).

Last week the Prime Minister reinforced his commitment to supporting businesses and ensuring that Britain can continue to attract investment and remain competitive on a world stage. This cash injection into the zones will support that, ensuring areas across the country can create the right conditions for investment.

The money will fund projects such as road building and land clearance that will unlock areas previously idle, turning them into prime economic sites that will bring home new businesses and help the local economies grow.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

Enterprise zones are at the centre of our plans to back business, help local economies grow stronger and give the UK that competitive edge.

The zones are showing progress with over 180 businesses, half a billion pounds of private sector investment and nearly 4,000 jobs, and many more in the pipeline.

We want to help them grow further and faster and this extra £100 million investment will ensure they have the infrastructure in place to successfully attract even more businesses and create many more local jobs.

Enterprise zones are helping to put the UK back on the map with foreign investors. They are steadily attracting significant international businesses like Lockheed Martin and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as enhancing world class centres of excellence and creating new jobs in key sectors like automotive, aerospace and offshore wind. Other key foreign investments in the zones include:

  • A Chinese developer investing £1 billion to create a state-of-the-art business district in the London Royal Docks zone which will create an estimate 20,000 jobs.
  • Synthetic diamond firm Element Six opening a new £20 million research and development centre at Science Vale enterprise zone in Oxfordshire.
  • LICenergy, a subsidiary of a leading Danish offshore and marine engineering company that joined the Bristol enterprise zone.
  • Bosch Engineering establishing a new automotive research and development facility at MIRA enterprise zone.
  • Peel Group’s joint venture with Sam Wa International to build the country’s first International Trade Centre at Mersey Waters.

Enterprise zones are a big hit with small and medium enterprises and key supply chain firms which are moving to the zones to take advantage of their tax, planning and infrastructure benefits. For example, Sci Tech Daresbury already has attracted 13 new science and technology businesses in the zone and will be commencing infrastructure works and new build of office and laboratory space later this year.

Further information

This will be a competitive fund. Enterprise zones can submit up to one bid each. The deadline for bids is Monday 18 November 2013. Local enterprise partnerships are being asked to coordinate bids in their area. See the bidding guidance and application form.

The government is investing nearly £700 million to support enterprise zones and their local enterprise partnerships to realise their potential as the engine rooms of local economies.

Local areas will retain 100% of the business rates generated by the businesses in their enterprise zone over the next 25 years. This means each zone will potentially generate millions of pounds that will be reinvested in local businesses, jobs and skills.

Enterprise zones build on existing centres of excellence in key industrial sectors such as pharmaceuticals, automotive and renewable energy.

Their benefits include well connected transport networks and super-fast broadband, strong fiscal support from government through business rate relief, enhanced capital allowances, simplified planning and government support to attract inward investment.

Latest UK Trade & Investment figures have already shown that Britain has become Europe’s top destination for foreign investment, with enterprise zones like Sheffield City Region, Oxford Science Vale, Daresbury singled out as other cutting-edge centres of research and development.

Enterprise zone activity:

  • Science Vale in Oxfordshire has already established itself as a world-class hub for science, technology and innovation with its world class scientific facilities and leading research. Over 4,500 people and 150 organisations, including start-ups and multi-nationals, are part of this vibrant community working on a range of leading commercial applications including healthcare, medical devices, space, detector systems, computing, and green enterprise.

  • MIRA Technology Park in Leicestershire - the automotive and engineering hub - has a global reputation for cutting-edge automotive design and development, with some of the best engineering companies in the world like Lockheed Martin and Bosch Engineering Group. Three further announcements are planned for this year including a European Tier 1, a Vehicle Manufacturer and a University. MIRA’s expansion into other engineering sectors such as aerospace is gathering pace.

  • The North Eastern enterprise zone is fast becoming a centre for low carbon and advanced manufacturing sectors, offshore and marine energy, wind turbine manufacture and ultra low carbon vehicles.

  • Black Country enterprise zone - Jaguar Land Rover announced £150 million additional investment on the i54 site in March 2013. Together with the £355 million engine plant already under construction, will lead to over 1,400 jobs.

  • Bristol Temple Quarter enterprise zone - 500 jobs already secured through Creston, Burges Salmon and LICenergy UK and a £7 million creative and digital hub, Temple Studios opened in May, with 32 businesses already installed.

  • London enterprise zone - £1 billion deal announced with Advanced Business Park, a Chinese developer, to transform Royal Albert Dock into the capital’s next business district, providing 20,000 jobs over 25 years. The ambition is to create a state-of-the-art business port aimed initially at Chinese and Asian business.

  • Tees Valley enterprise zone is already making an impact having seen 11 investments from both large and small companies resulting in £420 million of capital expenditure and over 220 jobs. Significant announcements include the investment by US company Airpoducts into a new £300 million energy from waste plant, the first of its kind in the UK. Tracerco is also expanding of its current operations in Billingham, Stockton. The company is investing £8.6 million developing a new Measurement Technology Centre.

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