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What is Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone?

20 Apr 2017 –– News
Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone

Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone was launched on the 1st April 2016 and will operate for the next 25 years.

It covers a site of 141 hectares and is centred on Blackpool Airport and the adjacent Blackpool Business park.

It has a target to create 3000 new jobs over its lifetime and will be the main site for new business locations and growth for both the Blackpool and Fylde boroughs for many years to come.

The Enterprise Zone is primarily targeting new investment from the energy, aviation, advanced manufacturing, digital & creative, and food and drink manufacturing sectors – but can also accommodate a wider range of business including professional services.

A range of financial incentives are available to new occupiers and investors in the Enterprise Zone – either business rates relief, at a level of up to £55,000 per annum for a five year period (maximum of £275,000) within designated areas, including Lancaster House. This is not an automatic right and is subject to application, where there will be a need to demonstrate growth in employment, amongst other criteria – and awards of rates relief, which are at the sole discretion of the Local Authority Section 151 officer, can range from 25%-100% relief.

Some smaller businesses would automatically qualify for the national small business rates relief scheme, which would be topped up by the Enterprise Zone relief, where applicable.

The Fylde coast local authorities have agreed to a rates relief protocol which sets ground rules for the award of the business rates relief and is applied across the area’s three Enterprise Zone sites at Blackpool Airport, Hillhouse International Business Park near Fleetwood and BaE Warton.

Businesses interested in their potential to secure business rates relief can complete an expression of interest application form prior to committing to a property, which speeds up the final approval process once a full application is made.

Information on the rates relief opportunities and the wider Enterprise Zone can be obtained on www.blackpoolez.com, or by making contact with Rob Green at Blackpool Fylde and Wyre EDC, who is leading the development of the Enterprise Zone.

Contact Rob on rob@bfwedc.co.uk, or 07500786402.

In addition to business rates relief, companies locating to the eastern side of the EZ can benefit from an alternate and mutually exclusive fiscal benefit Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA) where they may offset up to €120m expenditure on fixed plant and equipment (excluding buildings) against their first year’s corporation tax. A company may only have one of the two fiscal benefits.

Work is underway to produce a development master-plan for the Enterprise Zone, which should be complete in late summer. This will set out how the EZ will be developed and new investment made to open up development sites and renew airport infrastructure. Amongst planned new investment in the first years of the EZ will be a new access route eastwards to Common Edge Road, helping to relieve some of the existing peak hour traffic congestion. Improved ultra-fast broadband connections and increased power capacity are also planned.

Business First's Lancaster House business centre, on Amy Johnson Way, is in a prime location within the Enterprise Zone. To find out more about the centre, enquire about office space or book a viewing to look around available offices to let, contact centre manager Hannah on 01253 599599 or email blackpool@businessfirst.co.uk