Enterprise Zone For Cambridgeshire

17 August 2011, 09:07 | Updated: 17 August 2011, 11:18

Alconbury Airfield in Cambridgeshire has been chosen as the location for one of the government's new "Enterprise Zones".

The proposal for the development, near Huntingdon, is designed to "encourage investment, attract innovative companies and create around 8,000 jobs."

The application was put together by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and fought off competition from other proposals across the country.

According to Prime Minister David Cameron, the sites will benefit from tax breaks and high speed internet links in order to attract businesses to invest in them.

Other areas also getting an "Enterprise Zone" include Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.

Alex Plant from Cambridgeshire Horizons Talks To Heart's Tom Horn.

Mr Cameron said: "We are determined to do everything we can to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

Enterprise zones are a major step towards delivering this, cutting business taxes, easing planning restrictions and giving business the tools they need to invest and expand.

These new enterprise zones will be trailblazers for growth, jobs and prosperity throughout the country."

The Alconbury Airfield Enterprise Zone will cover 150 hectares of the site.

According to the Cambridgeshire Horizons group, companies moving onto the site will get:

  • A 100% business rate discount worth up to £275,000 during a five year period.
  • All business rates growth within the zone for a period of at least 25 years will be retained and shared by the local authorities in the LEP area to support their economic priorities.
  • Government and local authority help to develop the planning approaches in the zone.
  • Government support to ensure super-fast broadband is rolled out.

Councillor Nick Clarke, who is Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council and a LEP Board Member, said: "This announcement is fantastic news for the whole of Cambridgeshire, not just the Huntingdonshire area, and is a hugely important early success for the LEP and its commitment to driving forward the area's economy which has the wholehearted support of the County Council.

It is also a clear indication that Cambridgeshire is open for business in every possible way.

An Enterprise Zone will help bring jobs and prosperity to Cambridgeshire and funding to overcome some of the barriers to growth, and show the rest of the world that the county is a first class place to do business and that we can help lead UK PLC out of the current economic downturn."

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert added: "This new Enterprise Zone is very welcome and I am encouraged that it will include a terminal for rail freight.

I congratulate the Local Enterprise Partnership on achieving this success andI am pleased that the government is giving support to this region."