News story

One week left to apply for enterprise zones that will make the UK best for growth

Enterprise Zones can help make this country the best place in Europe to start and grow a business, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said today…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Enterprise Zones can help make this country the best place in Europe to start and grow a business, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said today, with just one week to go for second round bids to be submitted.

Enterprise Zones are a crucial element of the Government’s ambition to make the UK a world leader for new business investment. The first 11 partnerships to get Enterprise Zones were announced in the Budget 2011 and the designated zones will get simplified planning rules, super-fast broadband and tax breaks for businesses to promote growth.

In a speech to the Institute of Directors today, Mr Pickles urged local enterprise partnerships yet to submit a bid, not to let their local area miss out on the competition for Enterprise Zone status and the local growth and prosperity this could bring about.

The competition for 10 further enterprise zones was announced in May 2011. Successful applicants have to show their prospective zone would have genuine potential to create the new business and jobs they need, with positive benefits across the wider economic area.

Eric Pickles said:

There is a week to go before applications close for the second round to host Enterprise Zones. Bidders have no time to lose. Only the best will be get the go ahead and I want to see different areas put their very best ideas forward.  I’m delighted by the ambition that we’ve already seen coming through.

Enterprise Zones will transform 21 under-utilised parts of the country into hothouses for growth drawing in firms with simplified planning, super fast broadband and business rates discounts. Enterprise Zones can help make this country the best place in Europe to start and grow a business.

John Rider, Chairman of the Institute of Directors West Midlands Region said:

Getting councils to channel their energies into building a pro-business environment that will aid a private-sector led recovery is crucial. Enterprise Zones will show local government across the country that de-regulating, reducing tax and investing in key infrastructure brings significant long term benefits for business and local communities alike.

Over the coming months, the Institute of Directors will be calling on council leaders to develop stronger strategies for private sector growth in their communities and we very much hope Enterprise Zones will play their part in this process.

Ministers believe that diverse local economies require different approaches that can’t be imposed from the centre. The Government is determined to unlock the strengths and ingenuity of local businesses and civic leaders.

Local enterprise partnerships, which bring together local businesses and local councils have been invited to nominate specific sites for Enterprise Zone status, with specific plans to rejuvenate the local economy. Bids are expected to have the support of a range of local businesses - from large companies to small and medium enterprises.

The 11 local enterprise partnerships announced at the Budget 2011 as having an Enterprise Zone are making good progress on choosing their sites.

For example the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership has recently put forward Temple Quarter in Bristol as its proposed Enterprise Zone, while the Birmingham and Solihull partnership is looking at a zone in the city centre, focused around the new High Speed rail terminus.

When selecting the winners for the second wave, the Government will look at issues such as the choice of site; plans for development; targeting of sectors; and specific plans by local areas to remove barriers to business growth and reduce costs.

Notes to editors

  1. The first eleven vanguard Enterprise Zones were announced in the Budget 2011 and will be based within the following eleven local enterprise partnerships: Birmingham and Solihull, Sheffield City Region, Leeds City Region, Liverpool City Region, London, Greater Manchester, West of England, the Black Country, Derby and Nottingham, Tees Valley and the North East.

  2. All Enterprise Zones will 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 Enterprise Zone growth is reinvested locally

  • Government help to develop radically simplified planning approaches for the zone using, for example, existing local powers to grant automatic planning permission

  • Government support to ensure that superfast broadband is rolled out throughout the zone, achieved through guaranteeing the most supportive regulatory environment and, if necessary, public funding.

  1. Local enterprise partnerships with an interest in bidding for one of the 10 remaining Enterprise Zones were asked to submit Expressions of Interest by 30 April 2011. The application form and associated guidance can be found here: The closing date for submitting a bid for a second round Enterprise Zone is 5pm on 30 June 2011.

  2. The 27 local enterprise partnerships that submitted an expression of interest for a second wave Enterprise Zone are as follows:

  • Cheshire and Warrington
  • Coast to Capital
  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Coventry and Warwickshire
  • Cumbria
  • Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
  • Enterprise M3
  • Greater Birmingham and Solihull
  • Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough
  • Gloucestershire
  • Heart of the South West
  • Hertfordshire
  • Hull and Humber
  • Kent, Greater Essex and East Sussex
  • Lancashire
  • Leeds City Region
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • London
  • New Anglia
  • Oxford City Region
  • Solent
  • South East Midlands
  • Stoke and Staffordshire
  • Thames Valley Berkshire
  • The Marches - Shropshire and Herefordshire
  • Worcester
  • York and North Yorkshire
  1. An expressions of interest was also submitted by Swindon, which has not yet established an approved local enterprise zone.


Keep up to date with the Department by following us on Twitter (external link).

Media enquiries

Visit our newsroom contacts page for media enquiry contact details.

Published 24 June 2011