A NEW £60m fund has been unveiled by the Government to accelerate growth on Enterprise Zones, including those at Liverpool and Wirral Waters and Sci-Tech Daresbury in Halton.
The fund, announced by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, will be used to complete key infrastructure work in Enterprise Zones to help “turn shovel ready sites into job ready sites”.
The Government is inviting Enterprise Zones to apply for the funding to accelerate developments.
This could mean links to local road networks or reconfiguring site layouts; upgrading or installing utilities like electricity and water; or land remediation to reclaim contaminated land.
A central plank in the Government’s economic growth strategy, Ministers want to see Enterprise Zones accelerating activity to give them that global competitive edge needed to attract firms.
Mr Pickles has asked Local Enterprise Partnerships to have delivery plans for all 24 zones in place by the start of the next financial year.
He said: “Economic growth is this Government’s biggest priority and Enterprise Zones are the engine room of that strategy.
“They are a fantastic way to attract the jobs and business investment that local areas need. This new £60m fund will turbo charge that engine by turning shovel ready sites into job ready sites.
“Enterprise Zones have all the raw ingredients and growth incentives – simplified planning, low tax, super fast broadband and inward investment – they need to translate their potential into jobs and growth success.
“This is an opportunity to lay the infrastructure foundations so they are ‘gift wrapped’ ready to house new businesses.”
He added: “It is time for Enterprise Zones to take up the gauntlet of growth.
“Local Enterprise Partnerships can do more to make Zones realise their potential sooner.
“The Government is determined to work flat out with partnerships to clear any roadblocks in their Zone’s path so they can forge ahead and deliver the jobs the country's economy needs.”