Fylde Coast Enterprise Zones

In November 2015 the Government announced that two Fylde Coast sites would be included in the 26 new or extended Enterprise Zones (EZ) across the country.

The Fylde Coast Enterprise Zones are now live at Blackpool Airport and at Hillhouse in Thornton. Both sites will receive significant investment and government support for expansion.

The new Enterprise Zones will be overseen by the Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre Economic Development Company on behalf of the local authorities and Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Gas Fired Power Station at Thornton

In October 2017, Wyre Power Ltd, part of the NPL Group, announced the signing of a Collaboration Agreement with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC). The agreement paves the way for Wyre Power to push forward plans for a new gas-fired power station on the Hillhouse Enterprise Zone – the former ICI site.

Gas Fired Power station at Hillhouse, one of two Fylde Coast Enterprise Zones
Gas Fired Power station at Hillhouse, one of two Fylde Coast Enterprise Zones

The 900 MW plant would be sufficient to power one million homes. Work is underway on the Development Consent Order. The project will now move into a design development phase before the first round of public consultation to be undertaken in the New Year.

The site is expected to be operational by 2022 and the plant forms the cornerstone for the emerging Masterplan for the EZ.

Paul Maynard MP commented: “I was delighted to have played a part in this important signing ceremony of a £500m investment into skilled quality jobs in our local area, and it was an honor to play host to it in Parliament.

Hillhouse International – one of two Enterprise Zones

Hillhouse International Enterprise Zone (EZ) in Thornton Cleveleys was officially launched on 1 April 2016 and provides exciting opportunities for local businesses, investment and employment growth in the area.

As an Enterprise Zone, Hillhouse International boasts a unique opportunity to build on its chemical and advanced plastics industries, as well as targeting firms within the energy led and advanced manufacturing sectors.

Blackpool Airport – one of two Enterprise Zones

The 144 hectare Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone (EZ) came into existence in April 2016 (pictured top).

It has a programmed 25 year lifespan and aspirations to host 3,000 new jobs, secure in excess of £300m of private sector investment with 180 plus new businesses locating to the EZ.

One year in, the EZ celebrated its first anniversary as a dynamic and thriving hub for investment and business growth earlier this year.

It’s now home to over 200 businesses and around 1500 employees and the site has already attracted 28 new companies and is hosting 450 new jobs in the area. It is expected to add an extra 2,500 jobs over the next 24 years.

The first students have been welcomed at Blackpool and the Fylde College’s Lancashire Energy Headquarters – the £9.8m flagship development on the site. Backed by £6.2m of Growth Deal funding it is a high standard training facility, delivering the full range of technical and professional education required by the energy industry, with a particular focus on the green and renewables sectors.

Other companies operating in the business park cover diverse industry sectors and range from manufacturers and energy consultants to accountants and a publishing house.

Benefits of Enterprise Zones

Businesses relocating to the Enterprise Zones could receive benefits including business rate relief for five years or enhanced capital allowances.

Enterprise Zone status is a massive incentive for companies to invest in the Fylde Coast and could potentially create thousands of jobs. Both sites also provide further opportunities for local businesses to develop.

It’s great news for the area – a focus which will attract new business. It will reduce unemployment and drive forward further growth.

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