Wednesday, May 18, 2011

News: Rotherham sites in running for Enterprise Zone status


Development sites in Rotherham have been named amongst seven proposals for the location of a new Enterprise Zone (or Zones) to be created in the Sheffield City Region.

The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is currently considering the following proposals: A1M site, Bassetlaw; Courthouse Campus, Barnsley; Chesterfield Waterside; Dearne M1 Corridor; Markham Vale; The Modern Manufacturing Priority Area, Sheffield and Rotherham; Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield (RHADS) Business Park.

The Budget 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.

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.

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: "We invited submissions from across the Sheffield City Region by the deadline of 13 May, and the LEP Board will how consider those received with a view to making a final decision by the end of the month.

"This is a huge opportunity for the Sheffield City Region to maximise the economic growth that an Enterprise Zone will stimulate and in considering proposals the LEP Board will ensure it is focussed on Zones that will bring the most benefit to the Sheffield City Region as a whole, as well as meeting the Government's requirements."

The Dearne M1 Corridor proposal includes a series of sites totalling over 100 hectares building on the Dearne Valley Eco-Vision by focussing on the growth of eco-economy enterprises and the development of green technologies.

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.

The proposal for the Modern Manufacturing Priority Area, Sheffield and Rotherham is a strategically important area along the Don Valley, which straddles the borders of Sheffield and Rotherham, and would form one of the largest concentrations of modern manufacturing in the UK.

The Zone that best meets the LEP's criteria will be put forward to the Government in June.

Sheffield City Region website


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