Thousands of jobs created by new enterprise ‘superzones’
Chancellor George Osborne lit the touchpaper to arguably the greatest jobs boom ever experienced in the East of England by unveiling new ‘enterprise superzones’ across the region in his Autumn Statement & Spending Review.
The Chancellor predicts that the zones, which extend the Cambridge technology cluster and expand the business footprints of Norfolk and Suffolk, will be the catalyst for many thousands of new jobs.
While forecast job figures are thin on the ground for the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone, Osborne said the new Norfolk and Suffolk initiative will help create 18,500 jobs in the 25-year lifetime of the initial venture – including 5,000 by 2021.
The Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone creates a unique opportunity to expand the reach of Cambridge – global innovation centre – to the surrounding market towns, new communities and wider rural areas to boost the local and national economy. It includes sites in Waterbeach, Haverhill, Ely, Cambourne, and Northstowe.
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 part of the Cambridge Compass catchment.
Also, the local LEP will retain 100 per cent of the business rate growth within thezone for the next 25 years, which will enable further investment in economic growth across the area.
The Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone includes:-
• Cambridge Research Park, Waterbeach – Located close to Cambridge, this site offers 9 hectares of serviced employment land
• Haverhill Research Park – Situated to the south east of Cambridge on the A1307, Haverhill Research Park offers 37,000 sq m of commercial space
• Lancaster Way, Ely – Located north of Cambridge on the A10 growth corridor and main train line to Cambridge and London, Lancaster Way has outline consent to construct up to 125,000 sq m of additional office, R & D, industrial or warehouse and distribution accommodation to suit occupiers requirements
• Cambourne Business Park – Located to the west of Cambridge, Cambourne Business Park provides a unique opportunity for a new business environment within a growing new settlement where homes and jobs are co-located
• Northstowe, Phase 1 – Conveniently located close to Cambridge off the A14 and on the Guided Busway, this development is the first phase of employment land within Northstowe (which will be the largest new town to be built since Milton Keynes)
The zone will come into effect from April 1, 2016, with the 100 per cent business rates discount on offer to new occupiers until March 31, 2022.
The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and its local authority partners were thrilled to secure a ticket to prosperity in the Autumn Statement and Spending Review.
In a double success, a bid to extend the existing Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft (New Anglia) Enterprise Zone, was also been approved which will mean space for an additional 30 businesses and deliver a further 1,219 jobs.
The new superzone will be developed across 10 locations in Suffolk and Norfolk, under the theme of ‘Space to Innovate.’ Each site will focus on the counties’ key innovation sectors and supply chains where it has specialist expertise and knowledge. This includes world-leading agri-tech, food and health, offshore energy, ICT and digital and creative sectors and the development of the green economy.
The sites will act as a powerful magnet to attract new businesses, particularly overseas companies, looking to capitalise on the counties’ expertise in these sectors. The sites will also link with the region’s innovation centres, universities and the New Anglia Growth Hub to boost innovation, productivity and help to deliver high skilled jobs.
The sites, which will be ready for development in March 2016, are based in rural locations and smaller towns, as well as Ipswich and Norwich, to spread economic benefits across the two counties.
The 10 locations are:-
• Norwich Research Park – a 25 hectare site next to the B1108, south of Norwich. Enterprise Zone status will help support spin-out businesses in the food, health and plant science sectors
• Suffolk Business Park, Bury St Edmunds – a 14 hectare site on a new business park which will be developed to the east of Moreton Hall.
• North Norfolk – Scottow Enterprise Park in Coltishall – a rural site of 26 hectares to the south of Scottow and Lamas Roads, where part of the site will have Enterprise Zone status to focus on businesses in the creative digital and low carbon sectors and Egmere Business Zone – a 7.4 hectare rural site south of Wells-Next-The-Sea which will focus on the offshore energy sector. It is located close to the Sheringham Shoal windfarm and two further windfarms being developed off the coastline
• Greater Ipswich, Suffolk – a cluster of sites to support the delivery of the newly developed Ipswich Vision, the blueprint for the regeneration of the town.
• Futura Business Park – a 10 hectare site to the east of the town to help focus on higher value and more productive sectors and prevent displacement of retail from the town centre.
• Princes St - a 2.9 hectare office corridor which connects the railway station with the town centre and will focus on ICT, digital and professional services businesses.
• Sproughton Road – a 14 hectare site between the A14 and Sproughton Road, in the Babergh district area provides excellent access to the A14 and huge potential for businesses in the agri-tech, food and health sectors as well as their supply chains
• Waterfront Island - Two hectares of port land separating the Wet Dock from the tidal river with part of the Island given Enterprise Zone designation
• Nar Ouse Business Park in King’s Lynn, Norfolk - a 12.4 hectare site on the southern edge of the town adjacent to the A47, that will link to the King’s Lynn Innovation Centre, currently under construction. This will stimulate new businesses and attract international businesses in the agri-tech, engineering and food production sectors.
• Mill Lane Business & Enterprise Park in Stowmarket, Suffolk – a 17 hectare extension of the existing Food Enterprise Zone, located on the edge of the town, with strong links to existing local food manufacturers
The Enterprise Zone will also link with three new Food Enterprise Zones in Suffolk and Norfolk, which were announced in March 2015, and will create vital economic hubs for the industry. The Orwell and Gipping Valley Food Cluster in Suffolk and Greater Norwich Food Cluster in Norfolk, will increase collaboration between the food, drink and agricultural sectors, bring better connectivity to the supply chain and encourage greater links with skills and agri-tech research.
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP said: “This is fantastic news for companies locally, nationally and internationally looking to capitalise on the expertise of the East – from world-class food and health research, our thriving all-energy sector and innovation in ICT and digital – this zone will be a magnet for inward investment, help create thousands of jobs and drive our productivity.”