Cardiff’s proposed £160m Central Business District must become a designated “enterprise zone” (EZ) if the capital is to compete with English cities, according to city council leader Rodney Berman.
He has written to both the First Minister and Deputy First Minister urging the Welsh Assembly Government to back the establishment of an EZ in the Welsh capital.
Meanwhile Business Secretary Vince Cable and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles have written to all the local enterprise partnerships in England inviting bids for ten further EZs, to complement the initial 11 areas already announced.
The Government expects to agree the detail of the vanguard EZs, their sites and policy packages between now and the summer.
It anticipates that local planning authorities will need to start establishing local development orders from May this year, once specific sites are agreed so that simplified planning zones can be created.
The Government has stressed in its EZ prospectus that establishing a Local Development Order can be “a swift process – from start to finish the process could take as little as two months”.
Meanwhile, in a related but separate development, the British Chambers of Commerce, working with local business people all around the country, will bring together a new, national network for local enterprise partnerships, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has signalled.
David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, has agreed to chair the new network. This will bring together a diverse range of local businesses, and will be inclusive of other business organisations, to tackle the big issues around local growth.
Eric Pickles said: "The Government believes private sector led growth is the way ahead for the country and a business-led network for local enterprise partnerships can help deliver local growth that rebalances the national economy.”
7 April 2011