Jobs-boosting Enterprise Zone proposals unveiled

James Newman
James Newman
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Seven sites are vying to become the first of a new breed of Enterprise Zones, bringing thousands of jobs and millions of pounds worth of inward investment to the Sheffield City Region.

But just one or two will be submitted to the Government for approval by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

Successful zones will attract investment, developments and jobs through a combination of business rate discounts worth up to £275,000 for each business over five years, as well as benefiting from simplified planning procedures and superfast broadband links.

Sites proposed are:

- on the Sheffield and Rotherham border

- at Robin Hood Airport

- at Harworth, near Doncaster

- in the Dearne Valley, close to the M1

- in Barnsley town centre

- near Chesterfield town centre

- at Markham Vale.

LEPs will be able to use business rates generated by the zone to invest in other economic growth initiatives for 25 years and regions may be able to borrow on the back of future business rate income to fund infrastructure improvements.

Sheffield City Region LEP chairman James Newman said: “This is a huge opportunity for the Sheffield City Region to maximise the economic growth that an Enterprise Zone will stimulate.

“In considering proposals the LEP Board will ensure it is focused on zones that will bring the most benefit to the Sheffield City Region as a whole.”

Proposals include a ‘Modern Manufacturing Priority Area,’ on the border of Sheffield and Rotherham, and developing a 272 acre site at Robin Hood Airport beside the A1M at Harworth to create 6,500 new jobs.

The Dearne Valley proposal focuses on developing eco-economy enterprises and green technology businesses on 247 acres of land beside the M1.

In Barnsley the plan is to develop the 10.6 acre Courthouse Campus site to create new creative and digital industry offices.

The plan for Chesterfield is to develop the 62-acre, brownfield Chesterfield Waterside site on the edge of the town centre, while at Markham Vale, a 198 acre ‘employment site’ would be created with access to junction 29A of the M1.

The LEP Board will submit its recommendation to the Government by early June.