Decision imminent on job creating zones

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Seven sites vying to become the Sheffield City Region’s first Enterprise Zone should find out early this week which of their bids have been successful.

The Local Enterprise Partnership board are understood to be planning to designate an area of the region as a Zone, rather than a single site, because there isn’t sufficient vacant land available for a 450 acre zone in one location.

The area for a Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone could take in more than one of the proposed sites.

Potential combinations include Harworth and Robin Hood Airport Business Park, Chesterfield Waterside and Markham Vale, Barnsley town centre and the Dearne Valley, and proposals to set up a Modern Manufacturing Priority Area spanning sites along the border between Sheffield and Rotherham.

The Harworth proposal, from Bassetlaw Council, centres on a 272-acre greenfield site, beside the A1M, just over five miles from Robin Hood Airport, where owner Peel wants an Enterprise Zone on its 225 acre Business Park.

The Chesterfield Waterside proposal focuses on part of a 41 acre development site, where property development and investment company the Bolsterstone Group, timber merchants Arnold Laver and Chesterfield Council want to develop around 327,000 sq ft of Grade A office space.

The Markham Vale project covers more than 200 acres of prime commercial land, being developed by Henry Boot.

Barnsley Council is seeking Enterprise Zone status to help it turn the 10.6 acre Courthouse Campus into additional space for the digital and creative sector, while the Dearne Valley proposals centre on 247 acres of land, spread across 27 key development sites in Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham on either side of Dearne Valley Parkway.

Proposals for a Modern Manufacturing Priority Area Enterprise Zone, would stretch from the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Waverley, to Sheffield Forgemasters’ Brightside Lane plant, Tata Steel’s Brinsworth Strip Mill and MTL’s nearby hi-tech manufacturing plant.

n Enterprise Zones must be clearly defined geographical areas where land is owned by a single organisation or by a number willing to work together and the planning authority is willing to simplify the planning process.

They have to show they can create economic growth and additional jobs within the zone itself and wider region.

Successful zones will attract investment, developments and jobs through a combination of business rate discounts worth up to £275,000 for each business in the Zone, over five years, simplified.