Conservative Diary

« George Osborne grows up | Main | The Conservatives spent £49,205,000 during 2010 »

Four new Enterprise Zones established and an update on the Plan for Growth

By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter

Four new Enterprise Zones were announced by the Government today, as well as a progress report on the reforms launched in the Plan for Growth in March this year.

The four new Enterprise Zones announced today are: 

  • Birmingham and Solihull
  • Bristol
  • Leeds
  • Sheffield

The Zones were selected by their Local Enterprise Partnerships, and will benefit from business ratediscounts, super-fast broadband, lower levels of planning control and the potential for enhanced capital allowances.

The Government will announce the location of a further ten Enterprise Zones soon, which are expected to include Liverpool, London, Manchester, the Black Country, Derby and Nottingham, Teesside and the North

The Enterprise Zones announcement is part of the "Plan for Growth" strategy, which seeks to reform regulations on business. An update on the progress of the Plan for Growth today unveiled:

  • A new "National Planning Policy Framework", which reduces planning policy guidelines from over 1,000 pages to just 52 pages
  • There will be a policy of the default answer to sustainable planning proposals being "yes"
  • A reduction in corporation tax to 26% this year, and 23% by 2014 to make the British rate the lowest in the G7
  • Additional R&D support for small and medium-sized businesses
  • The prevention of over £350 million of new regulations earlier this year, including the costly extension of the right to request time to train to small and medium sized enterprises
  • Publishing updates on the Red Tape Challenge
  • The introduction of a moratorium exempting all British micro-businesses and start-ups from new domestic regulation for the next three years
  • Launching, in partnership with business, the "Business Growth Fund" by five major British banks to support established and growing businesses with a £2.5 billion fund
  • Funding for an additional 50,000 apprenticeships over the next four years and doubling the number of new University Technical Colleges.

Cameron@DavosCommenting on today's news, David Cameron said:

"I am determined that we should drive growth in every town, city and community in the country. For too long our economy has been dependent on just one corner of the country and too few industries. But it won’t be Ministers in Whitehall who can drive this growth; it will be those with the great business idea who are ready to start up, the entrepreneurs who want to grow their company, the businesses looking to expand into new markets. That is why we are getting behind them, cutting business taxes, freeing them from red tape, easing planning restrictions and rolling out Enterprise Zones to spark business growth around the country. It is our dynamic businesses large and small that are on the frontline of our economic recovery and we are committed to do all that we can to ensure that they can thrive."

OsborneThe Chancellor, George Osborne, added:

"The British economy is continuing to grow and has created over 500,000 private sector jobs in the past year. The difficult decisions on the deficit have made the UK a safe haven in the recent economic storm. Four months ago, I announced an ambitious Plan for Growth, having consulted with over 1000 businesses, to tackle the serious long-term issues in our economy. We have already made significant progress on regulation and planning, publishing a new National Planning Policy Framework and slashing burdensome regulation. The confirmation of the location of four new Enterprise Zones is just one important step that we are taking to boost growth across the country."


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.