Ely’s Lancaster Way Business Park celebrates being awarded Enterprize Zone status in Osborne’s Autumn Statement

Lancaster Way Business Park

Lancaster Way Business Park - Credit: Archant

A cluster of development sites, including Lancaster Way Business Park in Ely, are celebrating after being awarded Enterprise Zone status thanks to the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership's chairman Mark Reeve (6th left) begin

Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership's chairman Mark Reeve (6th left) begind work on Lancaster Way Business Park, Ely. - Credit: Archant

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, unveiled a series of new Enterprise Zones across the UK within the Spending Review and Autumn Statement on Wednesday afternoon.

The Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone creates a unique opportunity to expand the reach of Cambridge – global innovation centre – to the surrounding market towns, new communities and wider rural areas to boost the local and national economy. It includes sites in Waterbeach, Haverhill, Ely, Cambourne, and Northstowe.

Enterprise Zone status brings with it a number of benefits, including a business rate discount of up to 100 per cent for five years for businesses moving into part of the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone.

As a bonus for the local area, the LEP will retain 100 per cent of the business rate growth within the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone for the next 25 years, which will enable further investment in economic growth across the area.

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Mark Reeve, Chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said: “Securing Enterprise Zone status for the Cambridge Compass is a real boost for the local economy. We know that businesses, particularly international ones, want a base in Cambridge, which can drive up local rents and constrain supply. By drawing these sites together under the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone, we can provide a unique proposition to national and international companies looking for a new place to locate their businesses, drawing out the benefits of Cambridge to the surrounding area.

“The additional business rates income will also create a vital source of funding to support further economic development work across the local area for the next 25 years. Having a long term source of funding is critical to the continued development and economic success of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough area. We therefore welcome the opportunity to not only deliver vital new business space via these sites, but also generate income for our area.”

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The site includes within the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone are Cambridge Research Park, Waterbeach, Haverhill Research Park, Lancaster Way, Ely, Cambourne Business Park and Northstowe.

Councillor James Palmer, the Leader at East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “In East Cambridgeshire, we have worked incredibly hard to support our local businesses to grow and attract new companies to set up here. Today’s news is therefore a welcome boost to the continued economic development of the area as we strive to support the conditions which create new jobs and the sustainable growth our district needs.”

The Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone will come into effect from April 1 2016, with the 100 per cent business rates discount on offer to new occupiers until 31st March 2022.

The proposal was developed by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP and submitted to Government earlier this year.

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