The business-led North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has secured a new Enterprise Zone (EZ) for the region to fuel the creation of more and better jobs.
Chancellor George Osborne recently announced in the Spending Review that the North East LEP’s bid for a second EZ has been successful and that the multi-site Enterprise Zone is being supported by Government.
Businesses located within EZs benefit from a number of key advantages designed to drive their growth. These include business rate discounts for up to five years or tax savings via enhanced capital allowances for businesses investing in plant and machinery.
The LEP’s first EZ has been offering benefits to business in the offshore, renewables and automotive sectors since 2012. Since its creation, the EZ has attracted over £100 million of new private sector investment and resulted in over 1,200 new jobs and 25 new businesses.
This second EZ has been developed to complement and grow the region’s four key areas of strength, which are referred to as smart specialisation areas – Health and Life Science, Creative Digital, Automotive and Subsea and Offshore Renewables.
The new EZ will comprise ten sites across Northumberland, Durham, Sunderland, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Newcastle.
Helen Golightly, North East LEP Chief Operating Officer, said: “Enterprise Zones provide us with a strong offer to business to locate and develop in the North East.
“We are committed to supporting business to grow and are delighted to be given the opportunity to build on the success of our first Enterprise Zone. The second EZ will help us deliver the strategic economic plan and deliver more and better jobs for the region.”
North East LEP Chairman, Paul Woolston, said: “I’m delighted about our successful bid for a second Enterprise Zone for the region.
“EZs exist to drive growth in the smart specialisation areas identified by the LEP. They will play a key role in supporting the creation of more high-quality jobs and attracting further private sector investment into the North East.”