Clare Burnett

Member Article

Enterprise Zones and what they really mean for Yorkshire

If you haven’t already heard, a £415 million cash injection to create jobs and help local economies was announced by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles today, in an effort to aid the Government’s long term economic plan.

The announcement comprises:

  • £300 million to give 300,000 small retail firms £1000 off their next tax bill;
  • £100 million to support critical business infrastructure in Enterprise Zones, including more than £8.5 million for Leeds’ Enterprise Zone;
  • £15 million to establish new University Enterprise Zones in the eight main UK cities, including Leeds and Sheffield.
  • Enterprise Zones – infrastructure boost to create up to 3000 jobs for key industries by 2015

Twelve Enterprise Zone bids have been shortlisted to complete critical ‘nuts and bolts’ infrastructure that will turn dormant sites into prime economic land, attracting new businesses and jobs to Harlow, Humber, Leeds, Sheffield, Discovery Park in Kent, Oxford, Daresbury, Alconbury, London’s Royal Docks, the Black Country, Nottingham and the Solent.

Enterprise Zones, University Enterprise Zones and aid for SME retail businesses; it all seems a lot to take in. But what do these injections of cash mean for Yorkshire?

  • _Humber Enterprise Zon_e: will recieve £14.94 million to speed up delivery of key infrastructure at Able Marine Energy Park, subject to planning permission. The Humber Energy Estuary is set to become the centre of the global offshore wind industry. The Zone will now be able to create a ‘renewable energy super cluster’. By 2020, 1,300m of quays and 4,100 new jobs should have been created, marking the start of work on a £440m development project.
  • Aire Valley Leeds Enterprise Zone: has been allocated £8.57 million for remediation and infrastructure work, opening up key sites to attract advanced manufacturing and logistics companies, creating 630 new jobs and delivering over 33,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace in the long term.
  • Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone: up to £14.2 million for Markham Vale, a leading logistics and distribution park off the M1. In the long term, the grant will generate a further £95.7million of private sector investment, create 2,100 jobs and build new access roads, 180,000 sqft of commercial floorspace and unlock a further 33 Ha of land for development.

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) commented: “We’re delighted to have secured this significant capital grant, which will enable us to take an important step forward in unlocking the potential of the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone.

“It will create thousands of jobs over the next decade, leverage millions of pounds of additional private investment and provide a focus for inward investment and employment creation across the City Region.

“This is another example of central government placing meaningful investment in local hands to boost the region’s diverse economy and help us play our full role in driving national growth.”

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for development and economy added: “Today’s announcement is tremendous news.

“The Council has taken the lead in working proactively with private sector developers and Government to build momentum, accelerate development within the enterprise zone and drive economic growth.

“The funding will lever in up to £30m additional private sector investment, helping to deliver more than 630 jobs and create high quality industrial premises for modern manufacturing and supply chain businesses in Leeds and the wider city region.”

Covering 142 hectares of prime development land, the Aire Valley Enterprise Zone offers the largest opportunity for employment growth within the Leeds City Region, and one of the prime opportunities in the north of England. Fully developed, it has the potential to generate up to 9,500 new jobs by 2025.

A new recycling and energy recovery facility is already under construction.

Operational by spring 2016, the 15,330 square metre facility will have the capacity to process up to 214,000 tons of waste a year and generate around 11MW of electricity, enough to power 20,000 homes.

Across the country, the funding for road building, refurbishment, utility supply and land clearance will mean that 3.5 million square metres of land is brought back into use and 124,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace will be created by 2015. In addition 10km of new road and two new bridges will be constructed, reducing congestion for residents and increasing the access to new Enterprise Zone sites for business.

Enterprise Zones have already attracted 250 businesses, secured £1.1 billion of private sector investment and created over 7000 local jobs according to the government.

University Enterprise Zones

In addition from today universities in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield can bid for part of a £15 million fund to establish University Enterprise Zones.

This will strengthen the role of higher education in supporting local growth and innovation.

The funding will also lead to the development of new business spaces within universities. These spaces will host a range of start up, high-tech companies, that can benefit best from universities’ expert knowledge.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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