LEP bid for Plymouth Enterprise Zone successful

Joint press release between Plymouth City Council and Heart of the South West Local Economic Partnership

Plymouth’s South Yard is to become an Enterprise Zone, making the site even more attractive to businesses.

Chancellor George Osborne today announced that the bid put forward by the Heart of the South West Local Economic Partnership (HotSW LEP) on behalf of the city had been successful.

The status means that businesses based there have more freedom to expand and reinvest, thanks to a series of tax breaks and planning flexibilities.

Council leader Tudor Evans said: “Plymouth was one of only a small number of areas which submitted a business case. If this is another way of bringing in secure jobs into the city, it had to be worth going for and hearing the news we have been successful is marvellous for the people of Plymouth.

“This is a great example of how we are working with local economic partnerships to make things happen not only pays dividends for the city but has wider benefits for the region.

“This will help make South Yard an even more attractive proposition to businesses interested in setting up in this unique location.”

Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Chair Steve Hindley said: “This is the latest good news for the HotSW economy and its journey towards transformational growth by 2030.

“South Yard is a prime location for growing companies in the marine sector, which is one of the LEP’s targets for inward investment, and securing Enterprise Zone status increases its competitiveness in a global market.

“We continue to work closely with our partners in Plymouth and across the area to attract new businesses and jobs in the Heart of the South West.”

Set up in 2012 there are now 24 enterprise zones across the country.
Benefits include:

  • A business rate discount over five years, with the Government reimbursing the council the discount cost
  • All business rates growth generated within an enterprise zone will – for at least 25 years – be kept and used by the local enterprise partnership and local council to reinvest in economic growth.
  • simplified planning regulations with automatic planning permission for certain development within specified areas
  • government grants to install superfast broadband
  • enhanced capital allowances in assisted areas
  • tax relief for investments in equipment
  • Access to the £100 million Enterprise Zones Capital Grant Fund

Following a recent letter from the Council leader Tudor Evans to the Chancellor George Osborne, HM Treasury indicated it was willing to consider a business case from Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership for an Enterprise Zone.

The business case will build on plans to develop a Marine Industries Production Campus (MIPC) at South Yard as part of Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal. The Enterprise Zone will cover South Yard.

Outline planning application to transforming areas into a dynamic new centre for the south west’s marine sector has already been submitted that is expected to bring with it 1,200 jobs.
Redevelopment of the site will create over 25,000m2 of flexible employment space along with deep water docks and jetties suitable for the marine and advanced manufacturing sectors.

The application covers the refurbishment of existing buildings as well as new builds, with careful provision for the site’s docks, heritage and listed buildings.

It also includes creating suitable specialist facilities at the entrance of the yard which will have the right facilities, such as office, design suites, labs and training rooms for technology development and prototypes production, so that businesses can move straight in.