Business boom for region as Superzones launch
The Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone plus 10 other superzones in Norfolk and Suffolk went live today with the aim of driving thousands of new jobs and homes and pepping the economy of the UK’s top science & technology cluster.
The initiative was unlocked by Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and inaugurated with a figurative fanfare of trumpets from the Local Enterprise Partnerships that sealed the deals.
The Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone creates a unique opportunity to expand the reach of Cambridge’s global innovation heartland to surrounding market towns, new communities and wider rural areas. It includes sites in Waterbeach, Haverhill, Ely, Cambourne, and Northstowe.
The new Enterprise Zone status brings with it a number of benefits, including a business rate discount of up to 100 per cent for five years for businesses moving into the new communities.
Mark Reeve, chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said: “Securing Enterprise Zone status for the Cambridge Compass was a real boost for the local economy, and now we can start to attract new businesses to move into these sites.
“By drawing these sites together under the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone, we can provide a unique proposition to local, national and international companies looking for a new place to locate their businesses, drawing out the benefits of Cambridge to the surrounding area.
“We know that there are a number of companies very close to signed deals on sites and premises within the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone, and we look forward to making further announcements very soon.”
The sites included within the Cambridge Compass zone are Cambridge Research Park in Waterbeach, Haverhill Research Park, Lancaster Way in Ely, Cambourne Business Park and Phase 1 of Northstowe, located in north Cambridge off the A14 and set to become the largest new town to be built since Milton Keynes.
Ten new Enterprise Zone sites secured by New Anglia LEP and its local authority partners, also went live today across Suffolk and Norfolk. They will help to create 18,500 jobs in the 25-year lifetime of the zone, including 5,000 jobs by 2021.
With the theme ‘Space to Innovate’ the EZ will showcase the world class expertise of the region, from cutting edge excellence in food and health research and ICT and creative digital to its thriving all-energy coastline.
The sites will also be home to enterprise hubs helping entrepreneurs and young businesses develop and grow.
Benefits to businesses who move onto the sites include business rate discounts of up to £275,000 over five years, simplified planning and access to Superfast broadband.
The Norfolk and Suffolk launch was held at the £5 million King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC) based on Nar Ouse Business Park, one of the 10 new EZ sites and the first building on the new zone.
The centre will be the flagship building on the site and aims to support new and existing companies and the commercialisation of ideas to deliver economic growth in the area. It is estimated that it will be home to over 60 businesses and more than 800 jobs in the next five years.
The nine other Enterprise Zone sites are at Norwich Research Park, Suffolk Business Park in Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket Enterprise Park, Sproughton Enterprise Park, Scottow Enterprise Park in Coltishall, Egmere Business Zone at Wells-Next-The-Sea and – in Ipswich – Futura Business Park, Princes Street Office District and Waterfront Island.