sponsored by

£120m boost for local business infrastructure
Heather Church - April 23, 2014

The government set up the 24 zones as a 25-year project to rebalance the economy and create future centres of excellence in key industries such as offshore energy, pharmaceutical and automotive. Since they opened in April 2012, the zones have already attracted 290 businesses, secured £1.2bn of private sector investment and created over 8,500 local jobs.

Siemens and Associated British Ports are investing £310m in offshore wind in the Humber Enterprise Zone, Chinese investors are building a £6bn Asian business park in London’s Royal Docks Enterprise Zones and a £650m Chinese-British joint venture is building Airport City at the Manchester Enterprise Zone.

The success was cemented by the Chancellor who used his Budget to extend enterprise zone business perks. This means that businesses moving to the zones will benefit from business rate discounts until March 2018.

On sites where enhanced capital allowances are available, businesses now have until March 2020 to make a qualifying investment, and can then write off up to £100m against Corporation Tax.Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced a £120m infrastructure investment plan to bring businesses and jobs to the Sheffield area on a visit to the local enterprise zone.Eric Pickles visited Markham Vale as cabinet ministers explained how the government’s long-term economic plan will start delivering more than 200 infrastructure projects this year.

The Sheffield Enterprise Zone will turn £25m of government funding into £94m more of private sector investment so they can lay down the infrastructure needed for its premier sites at Markham Vale and Rotherham to attract new businesses to the area.Part of the government money – £14m – will transform the site at Markham Vale, where 3 coal pits previously stood. The enterprise zone can now expand its business park plans by 81 acres, widen Erin Road, put in place utility infrastructure and construct 100,000 square feet of new industrial buildings. When complete the site will have capacity to bring an estimated 2,100 jobs by 2022.

£11m will be used to expand Rotherham’s advanced manufacturing hub by building essential infrastructure foundations for Harworth Estates’ 740 acre Waverley regeneration scheme – Yorkshire’s largest ever brownfield redevelopment. Already home to world-class manufacturers like Boeing and Rolls-Royce, the Advanced Manufacturing Park will eventually employ 3,500 workers – with 300 of those new jobs expected onsite by 2015.This is part of £36bn of public and private investment that could support over 150,000 jobs in construction this year and many thousands more in other sectors following completion.

Eric Pickles said:

“This enterprise zone is a great example of how our economic plan is rebalancing the economy and transforming once dormant industrial sites into job creators once again.

Today’s cash injection will help the enterprise zone pull in over 3 times as much in private sector investment, giving it the essential foundations to grow, create jobs for local people and continue the area’s proud manufacturing tradition.

The government is investing to ensure that all enterprise zones can complete critical ‘nuts and bolts’ infrastructure work that is needed to turn old industrial sites into prime economic land that can attract new businesses and job opportunities.”

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said:

“This £25m investment will help to further enhance the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone’s status as the UK’s number 1 place for modern manufacturing and technology.

Since the launch of our enterprise zone in 2012, 18 new companies have located to our enterprise zone with 345 jobs already created on site and around 300 set to be created in the coming months.

Businesses have been attracted to join our modern manufacturing and technology community which offers outstanding transport connectivity, a highly-skilled talent pool and the best UK government tax incentives available.”

Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, said:

“Markham Vale has a key role to play in helping to build a strong local economy in Derbyshire that creates jobs, attracts new businesses and provides a future for our young people.

Derbyshire County Council has invested more than £60 million in the Markham Vale site since it was first launched in 2000 and we’re pleased the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has taken the time to come and see for himself the great strides we’re making in attracting business and investment to our county”

She added:

“This enterprise zone funding will allow us to develop more of the site, giving us the capacity to continue with our long-term vision of attracting more business and industry, creating 5,000 jobs for local people. We’re pleased we can finally start work to prepare the land and get plots in place for further development by March 2015.”