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  6. Ministers launch fund to "turbo-charge" enterprise zones

Ministers launch fund to "turbo-charge" enterprise zones

A new multi-million pound fund designed to finance the infrastructure that enterprise zones need to help them flourish has been unveiled by the Government. Ministers are inviting enterprise zones to apply for funding from this £59m pot to help "turn shovel ready sites into job ready sites" by completing key infrastructure projects.

The funding could be used for links to local road networks or reconfiguring site layouts, upgrading or installing utilities like electricity and water, or reclaiming contaminated land.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has asked Local Enterprise Partnerships to have delivery plans for all 24 zones in place by the start of the next financial year.

He said: "Economic growth is this Government’s biggest priority and enterprise zones are the engine room of that strategy. This new £59m fund will turbo-charge that engine by turning shovel-ready sites into job ready sites."

The zones are designed to stimulate economic growth by offering tax incentives, simplified planning and super-fast broadband to attract new business ventures. To date there are 24 enterprise zones made up of 142 sites.

This £59m fund is part of the £474m allocated by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement last year to help housing and commercial development.

In a related development, DCLG has published a local infrastructure fund prospectus setting out the rules for applying for the Government fund.

DCLG said it will work with large-scale housing schemes bidding for investment to consider how investment can be complemented by offers of brokerage, planning support and capacity support.

More information on the fund is available from the DCLG pages on Gov.uk

 

Roger Milne

28 February 2013