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Daresbury only NW winner in latest enterprise zone round

Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus in Halton is one of 11 enterprise zones announced by the Treasury on Wednesday – but three other bids failed.

The Daresbury bid was submitted jointly by the two local enterprise partnerships of Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester. Halton Council is part of the Liverpool City Region LEP. Liverpool already had an enterprise zone – Peel's Mersey Waters, announced at the time of the Budget in March. Daresbury's EZ status confirms the government is willing to consider more than one EZ in a LEP, contrary to earlier speculation in regeneration circles that there would be only one per LEP.

However, the bids for the 'energy coast' in West Cumbria, Omega in Warrington and BAE Systems' sites in Lancashire were not successful in this, the second round of EZs. The North West now has three out of the 22 EZs around the country, Daresbury, Airport City in Manchester and Mersey Waters.

In October 2010, developer Langtree was selected by Halton Council, the North West Development Agency and the Science & Technology Facilities Council to deliver 1m sq ft of commercial space over the next 30 years.

The second wave of Enterprise Zone will be located in:

  • Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus in Halton;
  • Humber Estuary Renewable Energy Super Cluster;
  • Newquay AeroHub in Cornwall;
  • The Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus Airfield in Gosport;
  • MIRA Technology Park in Hinckley Leicestershire;
  • Rotherwas Enterprise Zone in Hereford;
  • Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent and Enterprise West Essex in Harlow;
  • Science Vale UK in Oxfordshire;
  • Northampton Waterside;
  • Alconbury Airfield, near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire; and
  • Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, and Lowestoft in Suffolk.

According to the Treasury, Enterprise Zones will benefit from:

  • 100% business rate discount worth up to £275,000 over a five year period, for businesses that move into an Enterprise Zone during the course of this Parliament
  • All business rates growth within the zone for a period of at least 25 years will be retained and shared by the local authorities in the LEP area to support their economic priorities;
  • Government and local authority help to develop 'radically simplified planning approaches in the zone'; and
  • Government support to ensure superfast broadband is rolled out in the zone. This will be achieved through guaranteeing the most supportive environment and, if necessary, public funding.

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