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£100m Boost for UK Enterprise Zones Could Help Business Broadband

Monday, October 7th, 2013 (8:29 am) - Score 371

The government has announced an additional injection of £100 million to aid their Enterprise Zones, which were setup in 2011 to help predominantly disadvantaged urban areas and businesses to benefit from better transport networks, superfast broadband, various tax breaks and simplified planning rules.

At present there are around 25 Enterprise Zones across the United Kingdom and the extra investment is apparently intended to help related areas to “complete key infrastructure projects and successfully compete for the new businesses that will create thousands of local jobs across the country” (e.g. road building / street works, land clearance etc.).

Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary, said:

Enterprise zones are at the centre of our plans to back business, help local economies grow stronger and give the UK that competitive edge.

The zones are showing progress with over 180 businesses, half a billion pounds of private sector investment and nearly 4,000 jobs, and many more in the pipeline.

We want to help them grow further and faster and this extra £100 million investment will ensure they have the infrastructure in place to successfully attract even more businesses and create many more local jobs.”

The “competitive fund” will operate in England and is only available to Government recognised Enterprise Zones, which can submit up to one bid each (this must be state aid compliant) via the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and should be able to demonstrate that they have the support of all partners to the EZ including key land owners.

Apparently priority will be given to projects where there is “confidence that rapid delivery will be achieved” and the winning bid is expected to start work on-site in 2014/15 or earlier. The deadline for bids is Monday 18th November 2013 and a list of the current 25 zones can be found below.

The Government, which is currently ploughing £700m into its EZ scheme, expects to announce a shortlist of successful bids before January 2014, with grant payments beginning in April 2014.

The 25 Active Enterprise Zones

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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