- Enterprise Zone scheme extended to boost jobs and prosperity
- towns and districts invited to bid
Local councils are being urged to work with their Local Enterprise Partnerships(LEPs) to come forward with ambitious plans for new Enterprise Zones and to seize the economic initiative by identifying businesses on their patch with investment or export potential. This includes building on the commercial strengths of rural areas.
Ministers want local business and civic leaders to encourage firms with shared interests to stand together and form a stronger commercial proposition.
These new zones, if supported by a strong business case, will enable places to drive growth and jobs creation.
Enterprise Zones bring with them a raft of benefits to businesses including lower taxes, access to superfast broadband and streamlined planning permission to boost local infrastructure.
Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse James Wharton said:
Enterprise Zones are creating thousands of jobs, attracting billions of pounds of investment. Britain is a great place to do business and this is a chance for local areas to build on their benefits. As part of our long-term economic plan it is only right we allow more to share our national success.
With this new round of Enterprise Zones even more areas and businesses will be able to benefit from the support they bring. Only the very best bids will succeed but this is a chance for council leaders and businesses to make their case and secure a real boost to the local economy.
The government is building on the success of the existing 24 Enterprise Zones which by last December had attracted 15,500 jobs around the country since they opened over the past 3 years and delivered a multibillion-pound boost to local economies.
The Chancellor George Osborne announced in last week’s budget that all Local Enterprise Partnerships now have the opportunity to support an Enterprise Zone and all can now bid.
This will allow more places outside of our core cities to have the opportunity for an Enterprise Zone and what it can bring in terms of delivering local growth.
There is activity on all zones, whether it is continued growth on established sites or former derelict sites being brought back to life thanks to the government’s vision and funding.
Businesses basing themselves on Enterprise Zones can access a number of benefits:
- up to 100% business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per business over a 5-year period
- 100% enhanced capital allowances (tax relief) to businesses making large investments in plant and machinery on 8 zones in assisted areas
- 100% retention of business rate growth for LEPs, to enable them to fund development on Enterprise Zones
- the deadline for bids is 18 September 2015