Second Enterprise Zone confirmed for region
News of a second Enterprise Zone (EZ), that could bring more than 21,000 new jobs and £123 million into the area over the next 25 years, was announced today (Monday 13th February 2017) during a state visit by Rt Hon Marcus Jones MP, Minister for Local Government.
Mr Jones visited Loughborough to announce the new science and hi-tech manufacturing ‘Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone’.
This is the second EZ in the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) area and follows the highly successful automotive technology Enterprise Zone at MIRA Technology Park near Hinckley.
Each of the three sites at the new Enterprise Zone (two in Loughborough and one in Leicester) is unique, offering specialist research and development facilities and supporting new and growing businesses to bring their innovative ideas and products to market.
- Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) focuses on advanced engineering and manufacturing, energy and low carbon;
- Charnwood Campus in Loughborough has specialisms in the life sciences, pharmaceutical and bio-medical sectors;
- Leicester Waterside has a focus on space technologies, research and advanced manufacturing and also sits adjacent to location of the National Space Park development proposed by the University of Leicester.
In just the first five years, the new EZ is expected to generate more than £3.5 million in business rates which will be re-invested by the LLEP partnership into projects across the City and County.
It is being led by a partnership involving the LLEP, Loughborough University, Leicester City Council, University of Leicester, Leicestershire County Council, Charnwood Borough Council and Charnwood Campus (the former Astra Zeneca site in Loughborough).
Nick Pulley, Chair of the LLEP, said: “Confirmation of this second Enterprise Zone will make Leicester and Leicestershire extremely attractive to science, innovation and hi-tech manufacturing companies looking for research facilities and industrial and office space to base and expand their businesses. We have already seen this model working brilliantly at MIRA Technology Park in the automotive sector and we will look to replicate this in the science, innovation and hi-tech manufacturing sectors.
“Together, the EZs give us four specialist commercial sites that really enable us to cement our distinctive place as the research and development capital of the Midlands. I hope that the Government now backs our Growth Deal bid and provides the funding needed to invest in the infrastructure to accelerate development on these sites.”
Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor, said: “This is fantastic news and will provide great incentives for businesses to invest in our City and County. It will of course help to deliver our ambitious plans for the Waterside area in the City and strengthen the University of Leicester’s proposed National Space Park at Pioneer Park, which will give Leicester an even greater prominence on a global scale. It is critical now that Growth Deal funding is forthcoming to support the delivery of these sites.”
Professor Robert Allison, Vice-Chancellor at Loughborough University. said: “The University is delighted with the prospect of having its Science and Enterprise Park at the heart of this new Enterprise Zone. This exciting proposal reinforces the unstinting commitment of our three universities to make a significant impact on the economic prosperity of the area, through the provision of a world-class R&D base, skilled graduate supply and innovation partnership opportunities.”
Gosia Khrais, Commercial and Marketing Director at Charnwood Campus, said: “Charnwood Campus is a unique and dedicated environment that inspires discovery, encourages collaboration amongst similar businesses and provides a campus for life science businesses to develop and grow. Confirmed Enterprise Zone status will boost our potential considerably.”
County council leader Nick Rushton said: “I am delighted about the designation of the new Enterprise Zone which will stimulate the development of two major science-based employment sites in Loughborough.
“The County Council has invested in the expansion of the Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park and the Enterprise Zone designation will assist the University and other partners to further exploit the major opportunities provided by this site.
“Charnwood Campus has the potential to be a nationally important Life Sciences cluster and I’m very pleased that the unique facilities at this site are now being put to good use, for the benefit of the local economy and jobs.”
Cllr David Slater, Leader of Charnwood Borough Council, said: “The Council is delighted that this ambitious, bold and exciting plan is moving forward at last. This is great news for the county and in particular Charnwood.
“We have been fully behind the Science and Enterprise Park and Charnwood Campus from the start and we now looking forward to seeing them develop. They will not only bring jobs and boost the local economy, but they will also help make Charnwood an even brighter prospect for investors.”
Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said, “It’s great to hear that the government is again backing Leicestershire’s success by investing in our world-class research and development clusters.
“From the life sciences to R&D supporting investment in energy, space and satellite technologies, Leicestershire is emerging at the forefront of UK research. The high-tech industries hosted in Leicestershire’s new Enterprise Zone will create high quality jobs across the county, and are expected to contribute £3.5m to local business rates in the first five years of operations alone. Those funds will be reinvested by LLEP across the county, giving everyone living here a direct stake in Leicestershire’s R&D success.”
For more information, visit www.llep.org.uk/enterprise-zone
For more information contact: Sally Kowal, Communications Manager, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, T: 0116 454 2921, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the LLEP
The LLEP is a strategic body established to drive forward regeneration and growth of the local economy. The LLEP works with partners and Government to set out key investment priorities for Leicester & Leicestershire. It also invests funding and aligns partner resources and through its investments and it influences and drives activities that ensure positive outcomes for the local economy.
To find out more, visit www.llep.org.uk