THE new Enterprise Zone which could create 12,600 jobs around South Yorkshire in four years has been welcomed as ‘fantastic news’ by politicians representing the area.
Sheffield City Region was one of the first four areas of the country to be given the status, which means businesses will be given tax breaks at certain sites and business rates are kept locally to spend on infrastructure improvements.
Superfast broadband internet connections will be set up and planning rules relaxed.
Specific sites to be included in the Enterprise Zone – to be launched next April – have not yet been designated.
Under consideration are the Advanced Manufacturing Park, parts of the Lower Don Valley, the Dearne Valley and Markham Vale development, off junction 29A of the M1.
The Sheffield City Region bid was proposed by the Local Enterprise Partnership, a development agency involving councils and businesses, set up to encourage growth.
Deputy Prime Minister and Hallam MP Nick Clegg, whose Lib Dems came up with the idea for Local Enterprise Partnerships and pushed the Government to create Enterprise Zones, said: “This is fantastic news for Sheffield.
“These jobs will be a huge boost to the city’s economy and a sign of this Government’s determination to make sure the country’s great cities prosper. Sheffield is at the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing and technology in the UK and I’m proud the coalition is helping to ensure that Made in Sheffield will be a sign of quality that will be recognised throughout the world for years to come.”
Sheffield Council Labour leader Julie Dore said: “Creating more jobs in Sheffield is a top priority and we are pleased that the Government have approved the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone bid which will help us to strengthen our manufacturing industry further.
“Advanced manufacturing has significantly developed in our region in recent years and its success will be extremely important in growing our local economy and providing the job opportunities the people in our city need.”
Lib Dem opposition leader, Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, said: “We are delighted that our hard work in bringing together and setting up a Local Enterprise Partnership last year has paid dividends in the form of 12,600 new local jobs.
“It is a major vote of confidence in Sheffield.”
n Coun Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council and member of the Local Enterprise Partnership board, said: “I am delighted that starting from next April, Barnsley will play a key part in this new Enterprise Zone. It will give a much-needed boost to our local economy.”
n Tim Bottrill, partner at estate agency Knight Frank’s Sheffield office, said: “We expect the selected enterprise zones to promote new inward investment and encourage business start-ups. It will be interesting to see how the Enterprise Zones will affect Sheffield office take-up.”