Alderley Park Masterplan

Councils lend LEP £30m for Science Corridor schemes

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Cheshire East Council is to sign-off a £10m loan to the Cheshire & Warrington LEP at its cabinet meeting tomorrow, adding to funds also being put in by neighbouring Cheshire West & Chester and Warrington councils.

The £30m pot will allow the LEP to provide grants to developments which sit within the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone.

The investments are intended “to stimulate and accelerate economic growth” according to a report to Cheshire East’s cabinet and add to the attractiveness of the Enterprise Zone to new business tenants.

The LEP is expected to repay the loans using the business rates the organisation retains through the Enterprise Zone.

Under EZ status, any additional business rates paid by tenants in the area can be retained by the local authority and reinvested.

The report said the loan was “not on typical commercial or standard terms and full repayment is dependent on the ongoing existence of the EZ and rates system.”

The report also highlighted that the existing pipeline of projects in the Enterprise Zone could generate more than £90m in business rates. The LEP has identified 13 schemes.

Cheshire Science Corridor was granted Enterprise Zone status in 2016 and includes Bruntwood SciTech’s Alderley Park.

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