New 'enterprise zones' announced around England


David Cameron on a visit to Daresbury Science Park in Cheshire

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The government has announced locations for new "enterprise zones" in England to try to boost economic growth.

Ministers said 30,000 new jobs would be created by 2015 by giving cheaper business rates, superfast broadband and lower levels of planning control.

New zones were announced at sites including Cheshire, Essex, Cornwall, Gosport, Hereford and Humber Estuary.

They have been criticised by some, who argue that they will not create jobs but displace them from other areas.

Plans for 21 nationwide zones were originally set out in March's Budget.

Bids to host one of the zones were submitted by 30 local groups, made up of council and business leaders.

'Trailblazers for growth'

The enterprise zones previously announced were: Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Derby, Nottingham, the Black Country, the Tees Valley, the West of England and the North East.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "We are determined to do everything we can to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

"Enterprise zones are a major step towards delivering this - cutting business taxes, easing planning restrictions and giving business the tools they need to invest and expand.

"These new enterprise zones will be trailblazers for growth, jobs and prosperity throughout the country."

The scheme has been compared to similar initiatives in the 1980s and 1990s, which saw the transformation of London's Docklands.

But there was also criticism of the previous schemes, that they simply moved jobs rather increasing the total.

'Displaced jobs'

John Rider, chair of the West Midlands Institute of Directors, said: "I think the concept is reasonable but the reality was that they displaced people's jobs over the boundaries into the enterprise zones."

He said the Merry Hill shopping centre in Dudley, which opened in the 1980s, had "lots of good retailers but they did close local stores".

"Net new jobs? Probably a lot less then were claimed at the time," he said.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said they were successful in some areas, such as the Docklands and Sunderland, but led to displacement and a flood of retail parks.

"This has the same name but it has got a slightly different purpose," he said. "These are about specific sites against specific industries."

He said the government hoped to achieve a "rebalance of the economy from public sector jobs" and a reduction of the "dependency on financial industries".

The complete list of new locations announced earlier was:

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

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  • rate this

    Comment number 245.

    Unless there are robust restrictions and conditions on companies moving to these zones, all that will happen is that no employment will be created and firms will relocate for the tax breaks.
    Service industries like "fly by night" call centres should be discouraged and manufacturing rewarded as the investment in machinery is more likely to create a permanent base.

  • rate this

    Comment number 244.

    The important question (if it hasn't already been asked - apologies if it has, but 243 comments is a lot to wade through...)

    'How many of these new 'Enterprise Zones' are in ConDem constituencies?'

    Looks like most of them to me. Anyone checked?

  • rate this

    Comment number 243.

    Isn't Capitalism wonderful. When all else fails create a diversion such as the Enterprise Zones. One of the many problems facing us today is short term thinking. Making a quick buck seems to be the current idea because lack of trust in what the government sees as the future is rife. Unfortunately rioting is not an exportable option. We seem to be good at that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 242.


    ". . .increasingly many of us in England also are annoyed and frustrated by much of the BBC's output confusing as it does national, regional and local matters."

    That would by why this page is headed "News England" then?

    (Hey: I got picked by the Editor! And I'm not even a loony. I take back everything I ever said about editors picks and so should the rest of you!)

  • rate this

    Comment number 241.


    ....As the now tory paper "The Sun" so very well put it back in the Thatcher years "Can the last one out please turn the lights out"

    And your point is? The article was about if Neil Kinnock won the election! And it was not the Thatcher years but when Major was PM. Kinnock went on to lose the election of course

  • rate this

    Comment number 240.

    Just as businesses must cut costs in order to survive, so must our gov't. We waste billions on healthcare, benefits etc. which should be the responsibility of the individual. Cut these and we could cut taxes dramatically - injecting trillions of pounds into people's pockets and the economy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 239.

    Slightly confused. In the list the Science Vale UK??.

    Not a new site at all, already tried to be established as an area of scientific Enterprise. Mainly following the closure of Harwell (which was turned into an Enterprise site).

    Will government funding help??. I suspect not?.

  • rate this

    Comment number 238.

    229.nieuw divil

    Our workforce don't have the option of competing with those low wage economies. The cost of living in this country has exploded in the last few years. There are 2 options if this regressive idea was to work.
    1. People live in shanties.
    2. The state makes up the wages to a subsistence level.
    Neither of these are logical, so we need some intelligent ideas instead of rhetoric.

  • rate this

    Comment number 237.

    Mexico is classic example of what happens to a country who closes their borders in an attempt to protect their own industry. What happened? Prices of shoddily made goods went through the roof, the poor got poorer as did the middle class. In the end the gov't was forced to allow imports and local industries collapsed becasue they had been living in a bubble for decades.

  • rate this

    Comment number 236.

    A small step in encrouraging growth and enterprise. More please.
    Please also look in to the education sector which is not educating our children to the standard required to enter the workplace in the 21st Century

  • rate this

    Comment number 235.

    I was intrigued to read that the new Enterprise Zones will offer lower business rates.
    I think it's high time the Govenrment gave the issue of business rates a thorough overhaul.
    Currently 'Small' business enjoy 100% relief. By 'Small' councils measure the floor space. Those who require more space for larger machines (manufacturing) but earn less than £20,000 (like I do) still pay 100% rates.

  • rate this

    Comment number 234.

    ConDems are re-inventing the wheel that Labour set up with enterprise zones. ConDems close down quangos and set up new ones?

    Hopefully, these new quangos will not be led by the original over-paid executives? Who knows. We don't know the name of these re-named quangos? Am I cynical - yes. Our payments to EU are never reclaimed back in entitled subsidies due to incompetent UK quango idiots.

  • rate this

    Comment number 233.

    Ref China/Brazil compettion. Companies in these zones will still have to conform to innumerable European Tiddlywinks Directives etc. China and Brazil will still be way more competitive. The really big ask is to get the UK public not to buy sweat shop/ technology-copy goods from China etc. China does not play by the rules but to win, relying on the West's fickle short termism for a 'bargain'

  • rate this

    Comment number 232.

    Until our work force is prepared to compete with China's Brazil's or any other of the new economic powerhouses or economy will continue to disintegrate.
    d your comment...

  • rate this

    Comment number 231.

    205.Peter White

    ". . .Rover actually had a 'no redundancy' clause in their employee contracts. . .because they weren't able to slim down when needed, the whole thing collapsed and everyone lost their jobs. I think we can all see royal mail and the trains going the same way."

    Personally, I can't see the trains going anywhere.

  • rate this

    Comment number 230.

    Seems to me the government is trying to use the factor endowments of these locations whilst they are still there eg pharma. people in Sandwich (ex Pfizer) to make a biotech enclave. Seems like a good plan but it will be tough. Expect everyone to poo poo the government for a reasonable initiative, danger is companies just re-locating from elsewhere for the tax breaks and no nett increase in jobs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 229.

    Until our work force is prepared to compete with China's Brazil's or any other of the new economic powerhouses or economy will continue to disintegrate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 228.

    What a shambles the existing planning regulationtions/enforcement remains. People can buy acres of land via a lawyer. Then, quietly, a decision is made & within 48hrs there is a 'mobilised' army syncronised to build hardstandings, walls, gates, guarded entrances and 'mobile' homes before you can say planning permission?

    Don't care what anyone thinks of my post - there are many forns of anarchy?

  • rate this

    Comment number 227.

    #209 But just because it didn't work for you doesn't mean that it doesn't work for anyone. Where I work we no longer take on apprentices or graduates so we don't have a 'next generation' of engineers but if we had a YTS scheme the company could take people on and pick the best ones to employ. It's not perfect but it's the least worst system. Instead we see youth joblessness.

  • rate this

    Comment number 226.


    This govt is becoming more and more of a joke. In Economics, one of the first things we learn is that you need to spend your way out of a recession and save in the boom period.

    Pity the last government did not do some saving then! If they had we might be able to spend our way out. Instead they threw money at the electorate to buy their votes and sold off our assets, like GOLD!


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