New Enterprise Zone offer - but not for our area

Ruth Carver, director of Greater Lincolnshire LEP.
Ruth Carver, director of Greater Lincolnshire LEP.

A new Enterprise Zone for job creation and economic growth could be on its way to Lincolnshire – but South Holland is likely to miss out.

Plans for the county to enter the race to join 24 existing Enterprise Zones across the country have been announced by Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), an alliance of private sector businesses, public bodies and local authorities to boost economic growth and development in Lincolnshire.

James Wharton MP, Minister for Local Growth.  Photo by Philip Toscano/PA Wire.

James Wharton MP, Minister for Local Growth. Photo by Philip Toscano/PA Wire.

Business and council leaders are being urged to work with the LEP to bid for a new Enterprise Zone, with benefits including business rate discounts of up to 100 per cent, automatic planning permission for specific developments, access to superfast broadband and tax relief on investments in plant and machinery.

But because South Holland is lined up to be the site for a 25-acre Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach, the district is unlikely to be involved in any new Enterprise Zone for Lincolnshire.

Holbeach county councillor and deputy district council leader Nick Worth said: “We’re not putting in a bid for a new Enterprise Zone because we’re concentrating on putting into effect the Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach.”

Greater Lincolnshire LEP wants areas interested in bidding to be an Enterprise Zone to contact them by August 17 in order for it to submit a formal bid before the Government’s deadline of September 18.

Ruth Carver, director of Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “It is good news that the Chancellor is proposing to extend the Enterprise Zones network and we will work with local partners to consider an zone in Greater Lincolnshire while we continue to develop our Food Enterprise Zones.”

James Wharton, Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse, added: “At the end of 2014, Enterprise Zones had created 15,500 jobs since they opened in 2012.

“As part of our long-term economic plan, it is only right that we allow more communities to share in our national success and with this new round of Enterprise Zones, even more areas and businesses will be able to benefit from the support they bring.”

A South Kesteven District Council spokesman said: “We have approached the LEP to gain a better understanding of what the process will be to determine any bid for an Enterprise Zone and what opportunity there is for District Councils to input to this.”