New wave of investment for enterprise zones

Developers are building a record number of offices and industrial premises in enterprise zones across the country, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced yesterday.

These are some of the first major investments of their kind since the downturn and show the increased confidence developers have in many local economies.

Communities will receive a big boost from these developments which will bring about more jobs on zones and provide many knock-on benefits for people living nearby – from new services and infrastructure through to new business opportunities.

More than £230 million has been committed to 31 projects across the enterprise zone programme so far, meaning at least 1.8 million square feet of new speculative office and industrial space will be rolled out by 2018 – the equivalent of more than 23 Wembley football pitches.

Around 250,000 square feet of that work has already been completed with developers pushing ahead to finish a further 500,000 square feet by summer, paving the way for up to 2,200 jobs.

The Communities Secretary made the announcement as he marked the completion of a £40 million building called 2 Glass Wharf at Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. Built without a business initially lined up to move in, the iconic building will be welcoming its first tenant, global accountancy giants PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “Enterprise zones are a great place to do business. That’s why these developers are channelling millions of pounds into these investments.

It proves that our long-term economic plan is on track, helping deliver the kind of world-class infrastructure that attracts top companies.

And that’s great news for the economy and communities because it’s these kinds of businesses that will create jobs for hard-working people.”

Enterprise zones are central to the government’s plans to rebalance the economy, offering world-class infrastructure and top-class growth incentives for companies, across a range of key sectors including aviation, manufacturing and life sciences.