£100m bait for Enterprise Zones
A £100 million carrot to fund infrastructure projects has been dangled in front of UK enterprise zones including three in the East of England – Alconbury, Gt Yarmouth and Lowestoft, and Enterprise West Essex.
The Alconbury Enterprise Zone covers north Cambridgeshire and the Cambridge technology cluster. One bid from each zone is allowed, the Government tells Business Weekly: It said the extra funding would give zones a critical business edge.
The announcement from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles built on David Cameron’s stated commitment to improve Britain’s infrastructure to boost inward investment.
Pickles said the new cash injection into the Zones will support that strategy, ensuring areas across the country can create the right conditions for investment.
The money will fund projects such as road building and land clearance that will unlock areas previously idle – turning them into prime economic sites that will bring home new businesses and help the local economies grow. He said: “Enterprise Zones are at the centre of our plans to back business, help local economies grow stronger and give the UK that competitive edge.
“The Zones are showing progress with over 180 businesses, half a billion pounds of private sector investment and nearly 4,000 jobs, and many more in the pipeline.
“We want to help them grow further and faster and this extra £100 million investment will ensure they have the infrastructure in place to successfully attract even more businesses and create many more local jobs.”
Enterprise Zones are helping to put the UK back on the map with foreign investors. They are steadily attracting significant international businesses like Lockheed Martin and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as enhancing world class centres of excellence and creating new jobs in key sectors like automotive, aerospace and offshore wind.
• There’s guidance to help the zones in the £100m bidding process at:www.gov.uk/government/publications/enterprise-zone-capital-grant-fund-bidding-guidance