Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) today announced the launch of its multi-site Enterprise Zone called EZ³. The LEP, in collaboration with five local authorities, were successful in their bid for the Enterprise Zone that links together three major regeneration sites – Longcross Park near Chertsey, Basing View, in Basingstoke and the third at Whitehill & Bordon’s Louisburg Barracks.
Businesses taking up occupancy in any of the EZ³ locations before 31 March 2022, will receive a 100% business rate discount for five years, up to the maximum state aid threshold of around £275,000. In addition, 100% of the business rates generated over 25 years by the Enterprise Zone, will be retained and invested locally to drive sustainable growth.
Nick Elphick, Enterprise M3 Board Member and Chair of the Enterprise Zone Steering Group said:
“Enterprise Zones are one of the pillars that underpin the government strategy for business growth and we are delighted to have been awarded the status across the three locations in our LEP area. EZ³ will strengthen our ability to attract more inward investment and accelerate high value business activities that will generate jobs and stimulate economic vibrancy.”
Nick added: “All three sites that make up EZ³ are linked by a unique access to our LEP area’s leading role in innovation, 5G technology and cyber security. So businesses that locate in any of the EZ³ sites will have the advantage of being at the forefront of world leading technologies.”
EZ³ is one of the most connected Enterprise Zones to UK’s key transport and commercial hubs – being the closest Enterprise Zone in the country to Heathrow Airport, and having excellent links to Gatwick, London City, as well as Southampton Port and Airport.
The successful bid for Enterprise Zone status across the three sites, was driven by Enterprise M3 LEP in close partnership with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, East Hampshire District Council, Runnymede Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Surrey County Council, Crest Nicholson, Aviva Investors and Homes and Communities Agency.
Cllr Ferris Cowper, Leader of East Hampshire District Council, said:
“The economic transformation of Whitehill and Bordon through the creation of high value, technology based employment is at the heart of the town’s regeneration.
“The Enterprise Zone will accelerate the opportunities for business to invest here and to be part the town’s success. The ability to support business and invest in the infrastructure is a priority for the council and its partners the Homes and Communities Agency and Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company. Working together on the Enterprise Zone will ensure that Whitehill and Bordon becomes a hub for new businesses.”
The three sites in EZ³ totalling 40 hectares, will create about 11,000 jobs, and attract more than 130 new businesses. This will help build the reputation of Enterprise M3’s area as one of UK’s most desirable place live and do business in.
Paul Turrell, Chief Executive, Runnymede Borough Council, said:
“We are delighted to have been successful in achieving an Enterprise Zone for Longcross Park, where planning consent already exists for 850,000sqft of high quality offices. We are now looking forward to working with Crest Nicholson and Aviva Investors as the landowners, Enterprise M3 LEP, and other partners to attract new businesses to the area. As 100% of the Business Rates growth will be retained locally for 25 years due to having this Enterprise Zone status, it provides a fantastic opportunity to reinvest the income into the local area and further improve our local economy.”
Cllr John Izett, the Cabinet member for Property and Development at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, said:
“Winning Enterprise Zone status from April will give Basing View and the borough as a whole a huge competitive advantage. Working with the LEP and other Enterprise Zone partners, we will be able to share in the growth in business rates for the next 25 years, guaranteed by government. It is estimated that we will be able to share in funding of £229m over that 25 year period. This will mean further regeneration and jobs at Basing View and, in time, additional investment in the borough as a whole. On top of this, businesses who either expand into new premises on Basing View or are newcomers to the Enterprise Zone will receive a rates discount for up to 5 years paid for by government. The future looks very positive.”