Thursday, July 28, 2011

News: Rotherham Enterprise Zone status secured


Rotherham is to benefit from Enterprise Zone status after four more locations were announced today by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.

The Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone will be based on a series of key sites along the M1 that will focus growth within the advanced engineering and technology sectors.

The endorsed proposal was submitted by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in June after it was announced in The Budget that the city region would be a location for a zone.

It includes a core technology, innovation and manufacturing zone based around the existing Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham.

Other areas include Sheffield Business Park, land currently being developed at Markham Vale and sites in the west of the Dearne Valley in Barnsley at M1, Junction 36.

It is expected to generate up to 12,600 jobs and over 400,000 sq m of floor space for 250 businesses by 2015. When complete, it could reach 20,000 jobs, 400 businesses and £20m a year in new business rates from over 600,000 sq m of floor space.

The AMP already has a global reputation in advanced manufacturing, attracting big names such as Boeing and Rolls-Royce. It will now benefit from simplified planning rules 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.

Companies within the zone could also take advantage of enhanced capital allowances (instead of business rate discounts) for plant and machinery.

All business rates growth within the zone for a period of at least 25 years will be shared and retained by the Sheffield City Region, to support the Local Enterprise Partnership's economic priorities and ensure that Enterprise Zone growth is reinvested locally.

The Chancellor, George Osborne said: "Four months ago, I announced an ambitious Plan for Growth, having consulted with over 1000 businesses, to tackle the serious long-term issues in our economy. We have already made significant progress on regulation and planning, publishing a new National Planning Policy Framework and slashing burdensome regulation.

"The confirmation of the location of four new Enterprise Zones is just one important step that we are taking to boost growth across the country."

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, added: "One of the most important things we can do to help private businesses create jobs and boost growth is to reduce the barriers businesses currently face and give them extra flexibilities to operate.

"Enterprise Zones will do exactly that, bringing in benefits to the local communities and securing investment.

"I'm delighted that Enterprise Zones are gaining momentum and we are able to confirm more locations. This will help the work local enterprise partnerships are already doing to help roll out their zones and ensure that they are a success."

Rotherham has already seen massive private sector growth in an Enterprise Zone. 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.

Advanced Manufacturing Park website
Sheffield City Region website



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