Department for Communities and Local Government
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England's array of Enterprise Zones go operational

The next generation of Enterprise Zones are now 'operational sites' with 'live deals' immediately available for aspiring new businesses, Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles announced yesterday.

Every Enterprise Zone can now offer immediate tax breaks to businesses as soon as they move onto the site. The discount provides up to 100 per cent relief to new businesses for five years. Government is meeting the costs.

Each Zone is finalising ambitious simplified planning requirements for their sites. Many are using special locally developed planning regimes known as 'Local Development Orders' to grant automatic planning permission for certain development, such as new industrial buildings or a change to how existing buildings are used, within specified areas. This gives interested firms certainty about the development that will be allowed and removes the delays and costs associated with applying for planning permission.

Two thirds of the Zones will have at least one of these orders in place by the summer. Many of them will have multiple orders for their different sites. 18 orders have already been agreed, while eight more have completed the public consultation stage. A further 40 are in the pipeline.

Mr Pickles saw first hand how these planning changes are working on a visit to the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone, where six orders are now in place.

The Secretary of State looked around a company that is expanding their premises into the Beacon Park Technology Park because of enterprise zone incentives including the simplified planning arrangements.

Seajacks is a leading operator of purpose built self-propelled jack-up vessels for offshore wind farms in the North Sea.

The orders in the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone permit energy related development including new buildings, extensions, roads, telecommunications and low-carbon energy installations. All its sites will have superfast broadband by late 2012.

Six councils in the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone have today agreed a deal for a uniform and more 'business friendly' planning approach with quicker permissions expected. Global manufacturer, X:Cel Superturn, is using a new £18 million contract to rapidly expand its operation into the Zone.

The Zones are also attracting foreign investors, showing Britain is great for business. Just last week Japanese logistics firm Vantec, a subsidiary of Nissan, became the first overseas company to invest, £24 million, in an Enterprise Zone, taking advantage of Sunderland's Enhanced Capital Allowances.

Eric Pickles said:

"Local business and private sector commerce turn the wheels of our economy creating the jobs this country needs. This Government has set about fostering local enterprise and creating the conditions for businesses to thrive.

"This week our low tax, low regulation, Enterprise Zones with superfast networks are going operational with live deals and incentives now available to entice new companies to the area.

"We've planted these economic incubators all across the country to help accelerate growth, rebalance our economy with thousands of new businesses and local jobs in each location.

"Enterprise Zones are set to become the crown jewels of how we make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business."

The Budget 2011 announced that the Government would create a new generation of Enterprise Zones with simplified planning rules, super-fast broadband and tax breaks for businesses, would be established in local enterprise partnerships across England. The Zones have the potential to create tens of thousands of new jobs by 2015.

Notes to editors

1. The business rates discount for businesses in Enterprise Zones went operational on 1 April 2012. The discount provides up to 100 per cent relief to new businesses with the sites for five years up to state aid de minimus levels. Authorities should now be providing the discounts using the new local discounts powers. Central Government is meeting the costs of the discount.

2. Great Yarmouth's local development orders enable development including: port and logistics related businesses, energy industries, electronic communications works, solar panels, site investigation works, offices, general industrial development, security cameras and wind turbines.

3. Local Development Order progress in the Enterprise Zones is as follows:

  • 18 orders have been agreed: six in Tees Valley, six in New Anglia Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, one in West of England Temple Quarter (Bristol), one in Sheffield Modern Manufacturing and Technology Growth Area, one in Black Country i54 and Darlaston, one in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Newquay Aerohub; one in South East Midlands Northampton Waterside, one in Lancashire and one in Leeds Lower Aire Valley
  • seven orders have completed consultation: one in Leeds Lower Aire Valley, one in Humber Estuary, one in New Anglia Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, one in the Marches, Hereford, two in Greater Birmingham and Solihull City Centre and one in North Eastern River Tyne and Nissan site
  • approximately 40 further Local Development Orders are in preparation across the Enterprise Zones.

4. Other Enterprise Zones are making progress in different ways:

  • The North Eastern Enterprise Zone confirmed that the £24 million of investment from Vantec, an integrated logistics company, will include 417,000 sq feet of new building, which will be operational in less from a year from now and will create 240 new jobs as well as safeguarding 800 existing jobs.
  • Global manufacturer X:Cel Superturn is set to expand its operations in the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone after beating strong competition to win a major contract worth over £18 million to supply precision gaskets and sealing rings to a global subsea tree manufacturer.
  • In September 2011 Jaguar Land Rover announced it would build a £355 million engine plant on the i54 site - part of the Black Country Enterprise Zone. The first phase comprises 70,000sqm with a second expansion phase of around 65,000sqm. The plant will employ 750 staff and is due to be in operation by 2014.
  • The Enterprise Zones support Tees Valley's industries within the petro-chemical, renewable energy, advanced manufacturing and digital sectors helping create and support up to 1,200 jobs by 2015. Sites at Port Estates in Hartlepool, the New Energy and Technology Park in Billingham, as well as Wilton and PD Ports/South Bank Wharf (both in Redcar and Cleveland), can offer large-scale occupiers enhanced capital allowances against the cost of qualifying plant and machinery. Tees Valley are establishing their own locally funded Enterprise Zone sites to attract further investment in the area and support diversification of the local economy.
  • The Northampton Enterprise Zone will redevelop and regenerate a large area around Northampton station and along the River Nene. A planning application has now been submitted for a land-mark development on the site - a 3740sqm 'innovation cube' which will provide high quality accommodation for 60 start-up businesses.
  • The New Anglia local enterprise partnership has developed a 'soft landing' package to give targeted support to businesses locating in their Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone. This will include access to an energy sector support team; dedicated Inward Investment Director; access to key economic, cost and skills information; searches for suitable land and premises; introductions to supply chain partners; support from specialist energy sector knowledge hubs and access to UK Trade and Investment support. The Enterprise Zone covering six sites over 120 hectares will focus on offshore wind, port logistics and engineering. It is expected to create 80 businesses that would benefit from approximately £3.8 million in tax breaks.
  • The Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough Enterprise Zone - Alconbury Business Campus - will strengthen the manufacturing base across the partnership area, by encouraging ideas worked upon by scientists, academics and entrepreneurs to be produced locally rather that lost to overseas manufacturing. The Enterprise Zone will have a broad focus on ICT, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, creative industries, engineering and processing.
  • Across the board local enterprise partnerships are working with telecoms firms to make sure superfast broadband is the standard speed in Zones.

5. The Government has put forward a range of measures to develop Enterprise Zones and make them attractive places to do business.

  • A 100 per cent business rate discount worth up to £275,000 over a five year period (for businesses that move into an Enterprise Zone during the course of this Parliament).
  • All business rate growth generated by the Zone for a period of at least 25 years will be kept by that area.
  • Local Development Orders are available to local authorities to establish a simplified planning regime.
  • Government support to ensure that super fast broadband is rolled out throughout the Zones. This will be achieved through guaranteeing the most supportive planning environment and, if necessary, public funding.
  • The Government will make 100 per cent enhanced capital allowances available in the Black Country, Humber, Liverpool, North Eastern, Sheffield and Tees Valley Enterprise Zones to plant or machinery investment allowing them to write it down against taxable profits.

6. The following 24 Enterprise Zones now stretch across England:

Black Country i54 and Darlaston
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Newquay Aerohub
Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Boots Campus
Greater Birmingham and Solihull City Centre
Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough Alconbury Airfield
Greater Manchester Airport
Humber Estuary Renewable Energy Super Cluster and Green Port Corridor
Humber Green Port Corridor
Lancashire
Leeds Lower Aire Valley
Leicester and Leicestershire Mira Technology Park
Liverpool Daresbury Science Campus
Liverpool Mersey Waters
London Royal Docks
New Anglia Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft
North Eastern River Tyne and Nissan Site
Oxfordshire Science Vale UK
Sheffield Modern Manufacturing and Technology Growth Area
Solent Daedalus Airfield
South East Midlands Northampton Waterside
South East Sandwich and Harlow
Tees Valley
The Marches Hereford
West of England Temple Quarter (Bristol)

7. An Enterprise Zone map can be found here: www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/1968608.pdf (PDF, 440kb).

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