Friday, March 25, 2011

News: Sheffield City Region to benefit from Enterprise Zone


The Sheffield City Region will benefit from an Enterprise Zone, with the business-led Local Enterprise Partnership, set to decide on the specific site.

The Budget announced that the coalition government would create 21 new Enterprise Zones across England, with simplified planning rules, super-fast broadband and tax breaks for businesses. One of the main benefits that the zones will offer is a business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per eligible business over a five year period.

The areas are expected to have real potential to create new businesses and jobs with wider economic benefits. The focus is on cities and those areas that have missed out in the last ten years and the government has asked Local Enterprise Partnerships to nominate the site of Enterprise Zones based on the economic rationale and potential for growth.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Enterprise Zones will create the environment for businesses to thrive and stimulate growth in the places that have the most potential.

"The 21 areas we are creating across England will give businesses simpler planning rules, access to super-fast broadband and more generous treatment in respect to business rates and capital allowances.

"On top of that, the benefits of growth within Enterprise Zones will be kept within their communities, helping to drive the creation of more new jobs and successful enterprises.

"We will work closely with local enterprise partnerships to identify new ways we can support them on developing the Zones, especially on issues like enhanced capital allowances and securing inward investment."

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP board added: "The LEP Board welcomes the opportunity to decide on behalf of the City Region, the best location and structure for the new Enterprise Zone.

"The Board will move quickly to determine how the City Region's growth agenda will take best advantage of this opportunity as well as how it may be used to contribute to the national growth agenda.

"We shall be working closely with Government over the next few months to ensure that an Enterprise Zone within the City Region is up-and-running as soon as possible and is structured to maximise its value for business and the community."

In thier proposals for the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, the board highlighted key development sites that the LEP will work to unlock their regeneration and economic potential. In Rotherham, the key sites of Waverley, the Don Valley and the Dearne Valley were highlighted.

The government also announced that all business rates growth within the zone for a period of at least 25 years will be retained by the local area, to support the Partnership's economic priorities and ensure that Enterprise Zone growth is reinvested locally.

Through partnership work and securing significant funding, the former coalfields in the Dearne Valley were reclaimed as part of the UK's largest Enterprise Zone. Since the Dearne Valley was designated as an Enterprise Zone in 1995 it is estimated that around 10,000 jobs had been created in the area by 2002.

Sheffield City Region LEP website


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