New round of EZ bidding opens

Local Enterprise Partnerships have until 18 September to submit bids for a new round of Enterprise Zones, the Government-backed initiatives that offer certain tax reliefs for occupiers and retention of new business rates for councils.

There are already enterprise zones at Manchester Airport, BAE sites in Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire, Peel’s Wirral Waters and Liverpool Waters and Sci-Tech Draesbury. There are 24 in total across England.

The Government claims EZs have attracted 15,500 jobs in the past three years.

Local councils are being urged to work with their Local Enterprise Partnerships to come forward with plans for new EZs and to identify businesses on their patch with investment or export potential. This includes building on the commercial strengths of rural areas.

Ministers want local business and civic leaders to encourage firms with shared interests to stand together and form a stronger commercial proposition.

These new zones, if supported by a strong business case, will enable places to drive growth and jobs creation.

Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse James Wharton said: “We will build the Northern Powerhouse by allowing business to flourish and this new round of Enterprise Zones is just one of the ways we are delivering on that promise.”

The benefits include:

  • Up to 100% business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per business over a 5-year period
  • 100% enhanced capital allowances (tax relief) to businesses making large investments in plant and machinery on 8 Zones in Assisted Areas
  • 100% retention of business rate growth for LEPs, to enable them to fund development on Enterprise Zones.

The deadline for bids is 18 September 2015.

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