UK: Secretary of State Praises Enterprise Zone

UK: Secretary of State Praises Enterprise Zone

Eric Pickles, visited Beacon Park, which forms part of the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone, in a meeting hosted by New Anglia LEP and Brandon Lewis, MP.

The New Anglia Enterprise Zone is part of the first wave of Local Development Orders (LDOs) which have been approved in EZs across England.

6 out of 7 LDOs in the New Anglia EZ have been approved by the Secretary of State. The submission of the 7th is awaiting final agreement of some technical details. LDOs enable developers to build on Enterprise Zone land, without the need for planning approval, if criteria are met.

On the Beacon Park site – speculative development is underway for both office campus and an industrial park. There is one office unit soon to be completed and the industrial units will be started soon. Occupants will include include an engineering training centre, Nexus, managed by by the local further education consortium. In addition a major factory has just been completed by Norfolk Capacitors, enabling a doubling of the workforce. Lowestoft three developments are in the pipeline.

The Enterprise Zone is being marketed globally through the Norfolk and Suffolk Energy Alliance with relationships being built with forty five companies which are considering inward investment.

Next week the Enterprise Zone will be marketed at a UK Trade and Industry hosted event on off-shore wind in Copenhagen.

Mr Pickles was impressed by the progress made by New Anglia’s Enterprise Zone, to date.

He said: “Local business and private sector commerce turn the wheels of our economy creating the jobs this country needs. This Government has set about fostering local enterprise and creating the conditions for businesses to thrive.”

“This week our low tax, low regulation, Enterprise Zones with superfast networks are going operational with live deals and incentives now available to entice new companies to the area.”

 “We’ve planted these economic incubators all across the country to help accelerate growth, rebalance our economy with thousands of new businesses and local jobs in each location.”

 “Enterprise Zones are set to become the crown jewels of how we make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”

The meeting was attended by councillors from Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Waveney District Council as well as Blair Ainslie, Managing Director of Seajacks.

Seajacks, which owns and operates self-propelled jack-up vessels for offshore wind farms, is a rapidly growing company.

 Mr Ainslie said: “We could have set up our business anywhere in the world, however, we will expand our operation and move to new premises in the Enterprise Zone (South Denes) to house more than 100 employees.

 “It’s a no brainer”, he added, “with round 3 of the development of offshore wind farms imminent and the range of benefits in the Enterprise Zone, such as simplified planning, reduction from business rates for 5 years and the roll-out of superfast broadband means that we are committed to growing jobs in this area.

 “We’d also like to act as a catalyst to encourage other companies to join us in the Enterprise Zone.”

Andy Wood, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said: “It was great to have the opportunity to show the Secretary of State the rapid progress of our Enterprise Zone in Suffolk and Norfolk.

“To have Seajacks on board, as well as Norfolk Capacitors and the engineering training centre, Nexus at such an early stage is a great achievement and we’ve already attracted interest from companies, globally.

 “Our aim is to attract up 180 energy-related businesses to the area and generate up to 10,000 jobs by 2025 and we’ve made an excellent start in achieving this goal.”


Offshore WIND staff, April 12, 2012; Image: offshorewind