Posted on June 24, 2011
Category: News

The new Humber Local Enterprise Partnership agreed the shape of its bid for an Enterprise Zone at its first Board meeting last night.

The LEP Board, which is made up of business leaders, councillors and the University of Hull, decided to focus the Enterprise Zone bid on attracting large top tier manufacturing companies in the renewable energy sector.  By bringing in these Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), the LEP hopes their supply chains will follow and occupy further sites around the Humber.

New companies locating in Enterprise Zones are offered tax breaks funded by the Government including discounted business rates and enhanced capital allowances on plant and machinery, as well as a simplified planning process and superfast broadband.  The LEP believes that capital allowances would be particularly attractive to large manufacturers which would be spending significant amounts of money on high-tech machinery.  This would help to give the Humber a competitive edge.

As part of the Enterprise Zone package from Government, the LEP would receive any business rates paid by the companies above the level that is currently collected from the sites, rather than them going to the Treasury.  This would give the LEP a long-term income stream, which the Board has said will be invested in skills and infrastructure to help spread the benefits of the Enterprise Zone throughout the Humber and further grow the economy.

The LEP Board considered more than 800 hectares of land which is suitable for renewables manufacturing and could accommodate at least six OEMs and their supply chains, but narrowed down the bid to 375 hectares accommodating four OEMs.  The LEP Board felt that this was the most realistic number of OEMs that were likely to be operational by April 2015, the cut-off date for companies entering the zones to receive the financial incentives.  Although still larger than the 150 hectare maximum suggested by the Government, the LEP Board agreed that this would make a strong bid because by encompassing only four companies the cost to Government would be relatively small.

The sites chosen are: 

  • Green Port Hull (Alexandra Dock) – 1 OEM
  • Queen Elizabeth Dock, Hull – 1 OEM
  • Able Marine Energy Park (southern part), North Lincolnshire – 2 OEMs

Many of the remaining sites considered by the LEP will be targeted at the supply chains of these OEMs, which will want to locate nearby.  The LEP hopes that this strategy will mean jobs are created on sites around the Humber, not just in the Enterprise Zone.

The final details of the bid will be agreed next week before the Government’s 30 June deadline for submissions.  Around 30 areas are expected to submit bids but only 10 Enterprise Zones will be allocated.

Note

The LEP Board considered land in Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.  North East Lincolnshire Council will be bidding for an Enterprise Zone through the Greater Lincolnshire LEP.