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Government funding ‘opens up’ access to more enterprise zones

The government has signed off £23m for infrastructure development to ‘open up’ access to four more enterprise zones across the country.

Local growth minister Kris Hopkins stated that the funding will bring more jobs to Bristol, Manchester, New Anglia and Leicestershire as part of the government’s long-term economic plan.

In particular, the new money will be used to fund essential road, utility line and building construction. The Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone has been awarded £6m for commercial development in an around the new city centre. The MIRA Technology Park Enterprise Zone in Leicestershire will be given £7.4m for the construction of a new spine and distribution roads with a roundabout to increase access to the Hinckley site.

At the Great Yarmouth Enterprise Zone £3m will be invested to deliver 5,700 square metres of speculative office and industrial units, as well as road and utilities for Beacon Park. And the Manchester Airport Enterprise Zone has been awarded £6m to open up key sites to attract companies in life science and the IT and technology sectors.

George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “It is my hope that this announcement marks a new dawn of prosperity and investment in Great Yarmouth, a town which has always done its best to meet every new challenge. In terms of the energy sector, what is good for Great Yarmouth is good for the whole of East Anglia.”

Hopkins said: “Enterprise zones are showing that our long-term economic plan to secure a better future is spreading businesses, jobs and skills training across the country.

“Today’s cash injection will give four zones the raw ingredients to make their sites a stronger, more competitive business environment that will attract new jobs for hardworking local people.”

The funding was the remaining part of a £550m package of support for enterprise zones to complete critical ‘nuts and bolts’ infrastructure that will turn sites into prime economic land. According to the government, since their start three years ago enterprise zones have created over 9,000 jobs, attracted over 300 businesses and secured £1.2bn of private sector investment.

Geoff Gollop, deputy mayor for Bristol, said: “This £6m government capital funding for the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone is in response to a specific request to government and is extremely good news. It is yet another example of Bristol being recognised nationally as making solid progress with its regeneration plans.”

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