The locations of four more Enterprise Zones and a progress report showing that the government has already met or reached significant milestones on over 100 of the 137 reforms unveiled in the Plan for Growth in March 2011 were announced today by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
The four Enterprise Zones in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Sheffield, selected by their local enterprise partnerships, will accelerate local economic growth and could create over 24,000 new jobs by 2015. The zones will benefit from discounts on business rates, new superfast broadband, lower levels of planning control and the potential to use enhanced capital allowances. The government will announce the location of a further ten Enterprise Zones shortly.
It comes on the day that the government also announced plans to scrap or simplify more than 160 out of 257 regulations in the retail sector. This will free the public and retailers from rules that are unnecessarily burdensome, overly bureaucratic or completely redundant.
The introduction of Enterprise Zones is just one of over 100 major reforms being taken forward by the government to create conditions for strong, sustainable and balanced growth. The government has today published a progress update against the reforms announced in the Plan for Growth.
In four months, the government has made significant progress, working in partnership with business to fundamentally assess what every part of government is doing to provide the conditions for private sector growth, including:
- major reform of planning policy through a new National Planning Policy Framework which plans to radically streamline over 1,000 pages of planning policy to just 52 pages, underpinned by a new draft presumption in favour of sustainable development, so that the default answer is “yes” to planning proposals that support sustainable development
- reforms to the tax system to support business growth, including a reduction in corporation tax to 26 per cent this year, and 23 per cent by 2014 to make the UK rate the lowest in the G7, as well as detailed plans to establish a Patent Box, reform Controlled Foreign Company rules and provide additional R&D support for small and medium sized businesses
- a stop to the tide of regulation, including publishing the first results from the Red Tape Challenge, the prevention of over £350 million worth of new regulations earlier this year, including the costly extension of the right to request time to train to small and medium sized enterprises, and the introduction of a moratorium exempting all UK micro businesses and start-ups from new domestic regulation for the next three years
- working in partnership with business, the launch of the Business Growth Fund by five major UK banks to support established and growing businesses through a £2.5 billion fund
- funding for an additional 50,000 apprenticeships over the next four years and doubling the number of new University Technical Colleges, supporting young people to gain vital skills demanded by business
A further 45 reforms are due to reach a significant milestone by the end of 2011, including a new £50 million Business Angel Co-investment Fund and the launch of the first Technology and Innovation Centre.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said:
I am determined that we should drive growth in every town, city and community in the country. For too long our economy has been dependent on just one corner of the country and too few industries.
But it won’t be Ministers in Whitehall who can drive this growth; it will be those with the great business idea who are ready to start up, the entrepreneurs who want to grow their company, the businesses looking to expand into new markets.
That is why we are getting behind them, cutting business taxes, freeing them from red tape, easing planning restrictions and rolling out Enterprise Zones to spark business growth around the country.
It is our dynamic businesses large and small that are on the frontline of our economic recovery and we are committed to do all that we can to ensure that they can thrive.
The Chancellor, George Osborne, added:
The British economy is continuing to grow and has created over 500,000 private sector jobs in the past year. The difficult decisions on the deficit have made the UK a safe haven in the recent economic storm.
Four months ago, I announced an ambitious Plan for Growth, having consulted with over 1000 businesses, to tackle the serious long-term issues in our economy. We have already made significant progress on regulation and planning, publishing a new National Planning Policy Framework and slashing burdensome regulation. The confirmation of the location of four new Enterprise Zones is just one important step that we are taking to boost growth across the country.
The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, said:
Today we are giving the go-ahead to sites in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Sheffield because they have the pedigree to accelerate growth and create thousands of new jobs. Our low-tax, low-regulation Enterprise Zones will help make our country the best place in Europe to start and grow a business.
With ten more Enterprise Zones still to come it’s great to see the local ambition and innovation that emerges when central government steps back and gives local areas the chance to shape their own economy.
The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said:
One of the most important things we can do to help private businesses create jobs and boost growth is to reduce the barriers businesses currently face and give them extra flexibilities to operate.
Enterprise Zones will do exactly that, bringing in benefits to the local communities and securing investment.
I’m delighted that Enterprise Zones are gaining momentum and we are able to confirm more locations. This will help the work local enterprise partnerships are already doing to help roll out their zones and ensure that they are a success.
Notes for editors
The Plan for Growth:
Progress against the measures announced in phase one of the Growth Review were published today on the HM Treasury website: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ukecon_growth_index.htm
The government launched the Growth Review on 29 November 2010. It is a fundamental review of what the Government can do to create the best conditions for private sector growth, continuing for the rest of this Parliament.
The first phase of the Growth Review reported alongside Budget 2011 in The Plan for Growth and announced 137 measures to put the UK economy on a sustainable path. The Plan for Growth is available at: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ukecon_growth_index.htm.
The second phase of the Growth Review launched on 9 June 2011, focusing on skills, infrastructure, logistics, mid-sized businesses, the rural economy and open data, will report at the time of the Autumn Statement.
The proposals to scrap or simplify more than 160 out of 257 regulations in the retail sector are the first results from the Red Tape Challenge and follow comments made from the public and business, along with a vigorous process of challenge within Whitehall. The Red Tape Challenge will tackle the stock of more than 21,000 statutory instruments, many of which are currently putting barriers in the way of businesses, volunteers and the public. The Red Tape Challenge can be found at: http://www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/home/index/
A consultation on a new, simpler framework for the planning system has been published by the Department for Communities and Local Government this week. Further details can be found at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/1951729
To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy, the government announced at Budget 2011 that it would establish 21 new Enterprise Zones with superfast broadband, lower taxes, and low levels of regulation and planning controls.
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. More details can be found at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/1872164
The results of a competition for a further ten more Zones will be announced shortly following the consideration of 30 applications from local enterprise partnerships across the country.
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
Further details on the location of the four Enterprise Zones announced today:
The Birmingham and Solihull Zone is located in Birmingham City Centre, comprising seven clusters of sites over 68 hectares. It expects to create 40,000 new jobs in business and financial services, digital media, ICT and the creative industries including 4,000 new private sector jobs by 2015. A radical approach will see the planning process streamlined through an innovative Local Development Order. The local enterprise partnership estimates the Enterprise Zone, once fully developed, will add £2.8 billion to the economy in GVA each year. It will harness the opportunities presented by the proposed High Speed 2 stop, which would cut journey times to London to 49 minutes, to attract business into the city centre.
The Leeds Zone consists of four sites within Lower Aire Valley area covering 142 hectares. It aims to create over 4,000 new jobs in low carbon industries and modern manufacturing. The newly completed East Leeds Link Road runs directly through the Zone, connecting it to the M1 motorway and Leeds City centre. Carbon-efficient buildings and development related to public transport will be permitted via a simplified approach to planning regulation.
The Bristol Zone, known as the Temple Quarter Zone, is centred on the Temple Meads rail station. It anticipates 198 new businesses within the Zone, with 80 up and running by 2015, creating almost 4,000 new jobs. Creative industries and technology will be key target investors. The focus of a simplified approach to planning permission will be on promoting development/refurbishment and business locations in the Zone. The estimated business rate income is £272m over the 25 years.
The Sheffield Zone is based on key sites along the M1 motorway. It will focus on advanced manufacturing and technology based industries to promote a ‘Made in Sheffield’ brand that builds on the existing strengths of the local economy. It is expected to generate up to 12,600 jobs and over 400,000 sq metres of floor space for 250 businesses by 2015. When complete, it could reach 20,000 jobs, 400 businesses and £20m a year in new business rates from over 600,000 sq metres of floor space.
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