£11 million cash boost for Harlow Enterprise zone

Business / Wed 29th Jan 2014 at 07:58am

A £415 million cash injection to back business, boost high streets, create jobs and help local economies thrive was announced by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles today, as part of the Government’s long term economic plan.

The announcement comprises:

£300 million to give 300,000 small retail firms £1000 off their next tax bill;
£100 million to support critical business infrastructure in Enterprise Zones;
£15 million to establish new University Enterprise Zones in the eight main UK cities.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

“As part of our long term economic plan, we are backing business and enterprise right across the country, helping town centres and local industries to prosper, and building a stronger economy.

“This money for infrastructure will transform acres of Enterprise Zone land and build a stronger, more competitive business environment that will create up to 3000 jobs for hardworking people across the country.

“While our fully funded £1000 retail discount will make a huge difference to 300,000 of the essential small shops and local traders we find in our town centres across the country.”

Enterprise Zones in Cambridgeshire and Essex are amongst twelve Enterprise Zone bids shortlisted to complete critical ‘nuts and bolts’ infrastructure that will turn dormant sites into prime economic land, attracting new businesses and jobs to Harlow, Humber, Leeds, Sheffield, Discovery Park in Kent, Oxford, Daresbury, Alconbury, London’s Royal Docks, the Black Country, Nottingham and the Solent.

The funding for road building, refurbishment, utility supply and land clearance will mean that 3.5 million square metres of land is brought back into use and 124,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace will be created by 2015. In addition 10km of new road and two new bridges will be constructed, reducing congestion for residents and increasing the access to new Enterprise Zone sites for business.

Enterprise Zones have already attracted 250 businesses, secured £1.1 billion of private sector investment and created over 7000 local jobs.

The two Enterprise Zones in East of England that will benefit are Harlow Enterprise Zone in Essex, and Alconbury Enterprise Zone in Cambridgeshire.

Kris Hopkins, Local Growth Minister, said:

“Alconbury and Harlow Enterprise Zones are making great leaps as centres for business and research. From high tech companies to innovative new start-ups they are showing how national growth and enterprise is being driven from a local level.

“Today’s cash boost will enable the areas to continue to establish itself as major business hub and unlock the potential of the Zones, creating even more jobs for hardworking people and attracting new investment to the local area.

“This is part of this Government’s long term economic plan to back business and enterprise right across the country.”

Harlow Enterprise Zone has a particular focus on advanced manufacturing and engineering, pharmaceuticals, MedTech, healthcare, and ICT (Information and Communications Technology). Harlow is already home to major employers like Raytheon Systems, Teva, BUPA Home Healthcare and GSK (GlaxoSmithKline).

Councillor Tony Durcan, Harlow Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Resources and Enterprise, said:

“This is fantastic news for Harlow and for the development of the Enterprise Zone. Harlow Enterprise Zone is already attracting interest from some major potential occupiers, including international businesses, demonstrating Harlow’s strengths as a major business location.

“The grant award will enable us to deliver on this potential by providing the Enterprise Zone with the necessary supporting infrastructure such as roads, power and water. This will then bring businesses in to provide new jobs and create new opportunities for local people. I would like to add my own thanks to the many partners who have all worked hard on this project.”

Greg Clark, Chairman of Harlow Enterprise Zone Board, said:

“This funding provides a real boost in the next stage in the Enterprise Zone’s delivery. A huge amount of work behind the scenes between Harlow Council, Essex County Council and the private sector has ensured that the Enterprise Zone is in a strong position to move forwards.

“Harlow’s location in the London Stansted Cambridge corridor and the town’s Enterprise Zone designation is helping to strengthen private sector confidence in Harlow with 120 new jobs in the last year. The Capital Grant will build on this and enable us to deliver real transformation and secure significant private sector investment in Harlow.”

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