Enterprise zones are specific geographical areas within local enterprise partnerships’ boundaries. Enterprise zones can offer a range of incentives for businesses to start up or expand, such as:
- a business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per business over a 5 year period
- simplified local authority planning, for example, through Local Development Orders that grant automatic planning permission for certain development (such as new industrial buildings or changing how existing buildings are used) within specified areas
- government grants to install superfast broadband
- enhanced capital allowances in some zones - tax relief for investments in equipment
All business rates growth generated within an enterprise zone will - for at least 25 years - be kept and used by the relevant local enterprise partnership and local authorities to reinvest in local economic growth.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced at Budget 2014 that the deadlines for accessing business rate discounts and enhanced capital allowances on enterprise zones would be extended by 3 years.
This means that businesses have until March 2018 to locate on an enterprise zone to be able to access business rate discounts. On sites where enhanced capital allowances are available, businesses now have until March 2020 to make their investment.
You can find out more about each of the 24 zones on the enterprise zones website.