One week left to apply for Enterprise Zones that will make the UK best for growth
- Published on Friday, 24 June 2011 11:38
- Posted by Scott Buckler
Enterprise Zones can help make this country the best place in Europe to start and grow a business, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said today, with just one week to go for second round bids to be submitted (June 24th)
Enterprise Zones are a crucial element of the Government's ambition to make the UK a world leader for new business investment. The first 11 partnerships to get Enterprise Zones were announced in the Budget 2011 and the designated zones will get simplified planning rules, super-fast broadband and tax breaks for businesses to promote growth.
In a speech to the Institute of Directors today, Mr Pickles urged local enterprise partnerships yet to submit a bid, not to let their local area miss out on the competition for Enterprise Zone status and the local growth and prosperity this could bring about.
The competition for 10 further enterprise zones was announced in May 2011. Successful applicants have to show their prospective zone would have genuine potential to create the new business and jobs they need, with positive benefits across the wider economic area.
Eric Pickles said:
"There is a week to go before applications close for the second round to host Enterprise Zones. Bidders have no time to lose. Only the best will be get the go ahead and I want to see different areas put their very best ideas forward. I'm delighted by the ambition that we've already seen coming through.
"Enterprise Zones will transform 21 under-utilised parts of the country into hothouses for growth drawing in firms with simplified planning, super fast broadband and business rates discounts. Enterprise Zones can help make this country the best place in Europe to start and grow a business."
John Rider, Chairman of the Institute of Directors West Midlands Region said:
"Getting councils to channel their energies into building a pro-business environment that will aid a private-sector led recovery is crucial. Enterprise Zones will show local government across the country that de-regulating, reducing tax and investing in key infrastructure brings significant long term benefits for business and local communities alike.
"Over the coming months, the Institute of Directors will be calling on council leaders to develop stronger strategies for private sector growth in their communities and we very much hope Enterprise Zones will play their part in this process."
Ministers believe that diverse local economies require different approaches that can't be imposed from the centre. The Government is determined to unlock the strengths and ingenuity of local businesses and civic leaders.
Local enterprise partnerships, which bring together local businesses and local councils have been invited to nominate specific sites for Enterprise Zone status, with specific plans to rejuvenate the local economy. Bids are expected to have the support of a range of local businesses - from large companies to small and medium enterprises.
The 11 local enterprise partnerships announced at the Budget 2011 as having an Enterprise Zone are making good progress on choosing their sites.
For example the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership has recently put forward Temple Quarter in Bristol as its proposed Enterprise Zone, while the Birmingham and Solihull partnership is looking at a zone in the city centre, focused around the new High Speed rail terminus.
When selecting the winners for the second wave, the Government will look at issues such as the choice of site; plans for development; targeting of sectors; and specific plans by local areas to remove barriers to business growth and reduce costs.