UK enterprise zones "good news" for scientists and engineers

18th August 2011

UK Government plans to create 13 new enterprise zones have been welcomed by former IChemE technical vice president Nigel Perry.

The zones are designed to boost economic growth and ministers believe that 30,000 new jobs could be created by 2015 by giving cheaper business rates, superfast broadband and lower levels of planning control.

Perry said: “Technology based companies have higher start-up and growing pains than service based businesses so this is good news for the science and engineering community. The UK is intent on growing its manufacturing base and this is one step up in the right direction. If successful, it should lead to more opportunities for scientists and engineers.”

The complete list of sites announced yesterday is Daresbury Science Campus near Runcorn, Newquay AeroHub in Cornwall, The Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus Airfield in Gosport, Rotherwas Enterprise Zone in Hereford; Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent , Enterprise West Essex in Harlow, Science Vale UK in Oxfordshire, Alconbury Airfield in Cambridgeshire, Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, Lowestoft in Suffolk; Northampton Waterside, MIRA Technology Park in Hinckley Leicestershire and Humber Estuary Renewable Energy Super Cluster.

Perry adds: “Building a critical mass of technology and manufacturing companies around the proposition of simpler planning, better infrastructure and other incentives is a potentially winning approach as it de-risks start-up and growth of companies by removing some of the obstacles and reducing costs. It’s worked elsewhere, for example in the US with great examples in the North Carolina Research Triangle, Silicon Valley and around Boston.”