Plans for a new generation of enterprise zones have received widespread support from the business community including the British Chamber of Commerce, the CBI, the Federation of Small Businesses, entrepreneurs James Dyson and James Averdieck as well as representatives from the first Enterprise Zones in Nottingham and Manchester.
The Budget announced that the Government would create 21 new Enterprise Zones, within local enterprise partnerships, with simplified planning rules, super-fast broadband and tax breaks for businesses, would be established in local enterprise partnerships across England. The areas will have real potential to create new businesses and jobs with wider economic benefits.
The first vanguard Enterprise Zones will be based in Birmingham and Solihull, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, the Bristol area, the Black Country, Derby and Nottingham, Teesside and the North East.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has launched a scheme to identify where the remaining ten Enterprise Zones. He said that growth was this Government’s number one priority and a new generation of Enterprise Zones were central to that strategy adding that the zones were unashamedly pro-growth would be “a springboard for private sector growth and wider regeneration”.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:
The new enterprise zones could provide positive incentives for local authorities to promote development, allowing the Government to carry out a real-time experiment on what actually works as a spur to economic activity.
John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
We are pleased that the Chancellor has introduced a fuel duty stabiliser, has committed to cutting fuel duty and has introduced 21 new Enterprise Zones. This will provide much needed stability for struggling small businesses.
David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce said:
The announcement of 21 low-tax, low-regulation areas across England in the form of Enterprise Zones will boost our regional economies. The role of Local Enterprise Partnerships in designating and running Enterprise Zones will ensure that local business leaders are at the heart of the new policy. Beyond upfront incentives, the reinvestment of business rates locally is critical to boosting regional growth.
British Retail Consortium Director General Stephen Robertson said:
The Chancellor is right to seek to stimulate regional private sector growth, especially in parts of the country which have been particularly dependent on the public sector. Enterprise zones can make a difference at the margins but they must not disadvantage neighbouring areas.
Dr Brian Sloan, Head of Business and Economic Policy at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:
Given the challenges facing the Greater Manchester economy at this time, this announcement is obviously great news for the area. The new Enterprise Zone should provide employment opportunities for many people who will prosper from investment and development on this scale.
George Cowcher, CEO of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said:
We’re absolutely delighted that Nottingham has been chosen as the location of one of the first four Enterprise Zones. It’s a fantastic coup which reflects the importance of Nottingham, a core city to the UK economy and a driver of private sector growth.
Inventor and entrepreneur James Dyson said:
These are real serious measures which will make it much more likely for people to invest in these high risk start-ups - and also for people with these technology ideas to want to do it themselves.
Royal Institute of British Architects President Ruth Redd said:
The RIBA welcomes the potential for streamlining the planning system and for promoting development in enterprise zones provided that they are achieved in a framework that protects the essential requirements of sustainability and good design.
Alexandra Jones, boss of the Centre for Cities, said:
They are locating the new zones in areas where there is a realistic chance of producing growth, rather than focusing on reviving rundown areas which weren’t realistically going to produce new jobs.
Gu desserts founder, James Averdieck, in reaction to the Enterprise Zones announcement in the Budget said:
Continued growth in the economy is the only way Britain will emerge unscathed from the recession and I, for one, applaud the Chancellor’s initiative.