Friday, May 6, 2011

News: LEP considering locations for Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone


Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is currently considering proposals for the location of a new Enterprise Zone (or Zones).

The Budget earlier this year 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 LEP has received a number of submissions from local authorities and their partners within its boundaries and is continuing to invite submissions until the deadline of 13 May 2011.

The LEP Board intends to make its final decision by the end of May, in order to submit its proposal for the location of an Enterprise Zone to the Government by early June.

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: "This is a huge opportunity for the Sheffield City Region to maximise on the economic growth that an Enterprise Zone will stimulate.

"In considering proposals the LEP Board will ensure it is focussed on zones that will bring most benefit to the Sheffield City Region as a whole, and which meet the Government's requirements."

Potential Enterprise Zones must meet the following basic characteristics in order to be considered by the LEP Board:

- Be a clearly defined geographical area of around 50-150 hectares
- Must identify the characteristics of the businesses to be retained or attracted
- The land within the Zone must be in single, or collaborative multiple, ownership
- The local planning authority must willing and able to simplify the planning process

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.

Sheffield City Region website


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