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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.
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:
4. Other Enterprise Zones are making progress in different ways:
5. The Government has put forward a range of measures to develop Enterprise Zones and make them attractive places to do business.
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
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
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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