Enterprise Zones are part of the Government’s wider Industrial Strategy to support businesses and enable local economic growth. Blackpool Airport was awarded enterprise status in 2016 until 2041.
The Enterprise Zone is a 144-hectare site that includes Blackpool Airport, Blackpool Retail Park, Blackpool Business Park and surrounding land up to the border of Common Edge Road.
The 144-hectare site is much larger than many of the other UK enterprise zones and straddles the boundary between the Borough of Fylde (55%) and Blackpool (45%). Much of the site sits within designated greenbelt and has multiple stakeholders, up to 20 freehold and long leasehold property interests and over 200 occupiers.
Easy to get to from Jct 4 of the M55 motorway (10-minute drive), Blackpool South train station (5-minute walk)
The purpose of the Enterprise Zone status is to:
· create jobs (up tp 3,000) and long term sustainable growth (up to £300m in investment)
· unlock development sites (up to 260,000 sq m)
· build new roads, utilities and supporting housing and schools
· attract new business to the area (up to 140 new jobs)
The Enterprise Zone offers local businesses financial help to get started. By moving to the Enterprise Zone businesses can benefit from:
· 5 years’ business rates relief (up to £275,000) until 31st March 2022
· Enhanced Capital Allowances if a company decides to design and build their own building until November 2023
All the money collected through the new business rates generated on the EZ, over the 25-year lifespan, is kept by Blackpool Council as the accountable body (no cut given back to the government) to re-invest in local economic growth. In addition, the Government is working actively with Enterprise Zones to help to unblock any barriers to delivery, such as support with transport infrastructure, environmental issues and providing advice on marketing zones to international investors.
In order to provide the essential infrastructure i.e. roads, water, gas and electricity to the site, up front to create the opportunities for growth, Blackpool Council has made a significant decision to allocate £28.8m against future growth over the first three years and kick start plans to develop the EZ making the opportunities available for new buildings and investment for the future.
A planning application has been lodged to relocate the existing Common Edge Playing Fields and create new sports facilities which will unlock essential commercial development plots and make way for a new eastern access road to the Enterprise Zone.
The latest newsletter can be seen at here.