'Enterprise zones' revealed as Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Bristol

Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Bristol have been named by the government as having new "enterprise zones" to try to boost economic growth.

Ministers said about 24,000 jobs would be created by giving cheaper business rates, superfast broadband and lower levels of planning control.

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

The Treasury said Sheffield would get 12,600 new jobs by 2015, with 4,000 new jobs in each of the other three cities.

'Drive growth'

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

The enterprise zones previously announced are for: Liverpool, London, Manchester, Derby and Nottingham, the Black Country, the Tees Valley, the West of England and the North East.

The locations of 10 more are still be to announced.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I am determined that we should drive growth in every town, city and community in the country.

"For too long our economy has been dependent on just one corner of the country and too few industries.

"But it won't be ministers in Whitehall who can drive this growth; it will be those with the great business idea who are ready to start up, the entrepreneurs who want to grow their company, the businesses looking to expand into new markets."

'Modern manufacturing'

Ministers said on Thursday that the Birmingham zone would comprise seven "clusters" of sites across 68 hectares in the city centre.

They said it was aiming to make use of the proposed High Speed 2 fast rail service linking Birmingham with London and would create jobs in financial services, digital media, ICT and the creative industries.

The Temple Meads railway station will be the focus of Bristol's zone, known as the Temple Quarter Zone. The government said it hoped it would be home to almost 200 new businesses, with investment targeted at creative industries and technology.

In Leeds, ministers said a 142-hectare area spread across four sites in the Lower Aire Valley would aim to create 4,000 jobs in low carbon industries and modern manufacturing.

The Sheffield zone is based on sites alongside the M1 motorway. The government said the plans were expected to generate up to 12,600 jobs and more than 400,000 sq m of floor space for 250 businesses in the city by 2015.

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

But at the time of the enterprise zone scheme's announcement in March, critics questioned whether the zones would be successful.

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