News of a second Enterprise Zone that could bring over 21,000 new jobs and £123 million into the LLEP area over the next twenty-five years was announced yesterday by Rt Hon Marcus Jones MP, Minister for Local Government.
Jones visited Loughborough to announce the new science and hi-tech manufacturing Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone.
The new Enterprise Zone follows the highly successful automotive technology Enterprise Zone at MIRA Technology Park near Hinckley.
Each of the three sites at the new Enterprise Zone (two in Loughborough and one in Leicester) is unique, offering specialist research and development facilities and supporting new and growing businesses to bring their innovative ideas and products to market.
Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) focusses on advanced engineering and manufacturing, energy and low carbon; Charnwood Campus in Loughborough has specialisms in the life sciences, pharmaceutical and bio-medical sectors; and Leicester Waterside has a focus on space technologies and research and advanced manufacturing, and also sits adjacent to location of the National Space Park development proposed by the University of Leicester.
In just the first five years, the new Enterprise Zone is expected to generate over £3.5 million in business rates which will be re-invested by the LLEP partnership into projects across the City and County.
It is being led by a partnership involving the LLEP, Loughborough University, Leicester City Council, University of Leicester, Leicestershire County Council, Charnwood Borough Council and Charnwood Campus (the former Astra Zeneca site in Loughborough).
Nick Pulley, chair of the LLEP, said: “Confirmation of this second Enterprise Zone will make Leicester and Leicestershire extremely attractive to science, innovation and hi-tech manufacturing companies looking for research facilities and industrial and office space to base and expand their businesses. We have already seen this model working brilliantly at MIRA Technology Park in the automotive sector and we will look to replicate this in the science, innovation and hi-tech manufacturing sectors.
“Together, the EZs give us four specialist commercial sites that really enable us to cement our distinctive place as the research and development capital of the Midlands. I hope that the Government now backs our Growth Deal bid and provides the funding needed to invest in the infrastructure to accelerate development on these sites”.
Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor, added: “This is fantastic news and will provide great incentives for businesses to invest in our City and County. It will of course help to deliver our ambitious plans for the Waterside area in the City and strengthen the University of Leicester’s proposed National Space Park at Pioneer Park, which will give Leicester an even greater prominence on a global scale. It is critical now that Growth Deal funding is forthcoming to support the delivery of these sites”.