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Enterprise Zone jobs success; business.

Byline: graeme whitfield graeme.whitfield@ncjmedia.co.uk

MORE than 1,300 jobs have been created in Enterprise Zones in the North East over the last five years, with 46 companies and PS36m of investment brought to the region.

Enterprise Zones were created by the Government in 2012, offering incentives for companies to relocate and expand, while the North East LEP has supported infrastructure work for the sites, including roads and utilities.

Sites in the region include the North Bank of the Tyne Enterprise Zone, which includes the Neptune Yard and which is leading the way in offshore wind and renewables and has attracted companies including Bridon International, IHC FHP, and JDR Cables.

Enterprise Zones have also been set up in the Blyth Estuary, centred on businesses in offshore energy and marine engineering, and the A19 corridor at Sunderland, which has been designated a centre for low-carbon vehicles.

On the fifth anniversary of the zones, a LEP study has revealed that they have created 1,318 jobs in the North East.

LEP executive director Helen Golightly said: "We are delighted with the success of the North East Enterprise Zones.

"All of our Enterprise Zones are in key locations, so whether it's adjacent to a major trunk road like the A19 or A1, or whether it's next to a major cluster of activity, they're all strategically positioned.

"They're clustered around our areas of opportunity, for example automotive or offshore. They're next to the areas that we really feel are going to thrive.

"The zones are all at different stages but we have high hopes for the future. We have these fantastic sites and we're investing a lot in them to get them ready."

Benefits for companies setting up within enterprise zones include the business rate discount, which give firms up to 100% discount against business rates worth up to PS275,000 over a five-year period. Companies can also claim an enhanced capital allowance, which covers up to 100% of the cost of investment in plant and equipment.

Ms Golightly added: "All of the business in our Enterprise Zones benefit from being ideally positioned in a strategic location within a cluster of companies working in key areas of opportunity.

"Businesses can be part of the supply chain and work with each other. This approach has really worked very well.

"If you look at Neptune, they've now got global companies that have located there. It's all about working with the investors and building links.

"We think the North East Enterprise Zones have huge potential. With over 1,300 full-time jobs and PS36m of investment already in our Enterprise Zones, the figures really

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North East LEP executive director Helen Golightly

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 13, 2017
Words:448
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