Eric Pickles has announced that the Government is pledging to increase its infrastructure investment in ‘enterprise zones’ by £100m in an attempt to help enterprise zones attract business and create thousands of local jobs.
Thirteen enterprise zones have been ‘green lighted’ to receive the new money for 18 projects to build service roads, car parking and other infrastructure, transforming ‘shovel ready sites into job ready sites’. Those enterprise zones include:
– Aerohub Business park, Newquay, Cornwall
– Enterprise West Essex at Harlow
– Solent Enterprise Zone at Deadalus Airfield
– Masshouse – Birmingham City Centre
– Kirkeatham Business Park – Tees Valley
– Queens Meadow Business Park – Tees Valley
– Sheffield City Region enterprise zone – Waverley
– Logic Leeds – Aire Valley enterprise zone
– Tower Road South, Wirral Waters
– Brough, Humber Green Port Corridor enterprise zone, East Riding of Yorkshire
– Discovery Park, Dover : the 220 acre, former Pfizer site at Discovery Park, in Sandwich, Kent
– Manchester Airport City enterprise zone
The fund, originally £60 million, is designed to help zones reach their real growth potential faster as so-called economic engine rooms of local economies. Following a competitive bidding process the successful proposals will now undergo further testing to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.
The Government reports that enterprise zones have already created 3,000 new jobs, attracted 126 businesses, generated 105,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace and secured almost £229 million of extra private sector investment.
In addition, 5 enterprise zones are also receiving £24 million to tackle traffic bottlenecks and road congestion near their site through Department for Transport funding.
Eric Pickles said:
“Enterprise zones are stimulating job creation and economic growth in different parts of the country with their special package of incentives to attractive new business ventures.
“The government is putting its money where its mouth is and making sure enterprise zones have the buildings and infrastructure they need to make sites ready for business to set up in.
“Enterprise zones are proving extremely popular with business – they have already created over 3,000 jobs for local people – a 75% increase in just 5 months – and many more will be coming down the pipeline because of this new support.”
The announcement is one of range of steps the government has taken in an attempt to rebalance the economy and support local businesses to grow and create jobs. Their flagship policies include establishing 39 local enterprise partnerships that, along with enterprise zones, are able to access millions in government investment to support their local economy, including the £770 million Growing Places Fund and £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund.
More information on these policies is available on the links above.