Fashion Era

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Deeside Enterprise Zone helps create 1,000 jobs

Deeside Enterprise Zone helps create 1,000 jobs

Zone in Flintshire is now tipped to bring thousands more jobs over next two years

N ENTERPRISE Zone set up to boost the economy of north east Wales has already helped create 1,000 jobs – with thousands of more roles tipped to come to the region.
The 2,000 hectare Deeside Enterprise Zone (EZ) was one of seven set up in Wales by the Welsh Government to boost growth with incentives offered for existing companies to invest and to attract new firms into the area.
Zone board vice chairman Askar Sheibani, said figures showed the EZ had already brought in 1,000 jobs with many more enquiries for companies wanting to relocate to the region.
He added that he believed the Northern Gateway, a £95m employment-led business, science and technology park within the zone, would get moving in 2014 with the potential to bring thousands of additional jobs.
Board chairman David Jones, who is also chief executive of Coleg Cambria, said: “The Zone has provided added impetus and incentives to an area that is already highly regarded as a first-class environment for businesses in the advanced manufacturing and materials sector.
“We have set challenging Enterprise Zone targets for 2014/15 and we expect the Deeside Zone to be a major contributor toward achieving those targets.
“We have already seen businesses, whose investments are internationally mobile, choose Deeside as the place to support their expansions.
“For example, this includes the recent £3.7million investment by ConvaTec which is expanding its operations in Deeside with support from the Welsh Government.
“This will create 67 new jobs and safeguard a further sixteen and was a significant coup given that the Deeside site was in competition with 10 other sites across the world.
“We also continue to receive enquiries from businesses who have an interest in locating to the Zone.”
He added: “Through a competitive package of financial and other incentives, the Zone is supporting new investments from businesses of all sizes, from major anchor companies such as Airbus to Westbridge Furniture which has announced plans to expand their workforce and create more than 150 new jobs.
“The impact of the Deeside Enterprise Zone is already being seen and felt by businesses within the Zone.”
Mr Jones described what difference the Zone could make for the economy.
He said: “In becoming a catalyst for investment – particularly in the advanced manufacturing sector, the Enterprise Zone supports growth and jobs within and beyond the immediate boundaries of the Enterprise Zone.
“Supporting businesses to invest and expand within the Zone creates a positive impact in the supply-chain which is felt by businesses located outside of the Zone and across the wider region.
“In addition, our marketing campaign, although focussed on the Enterprise Zone, is promoting the benefits of the wider north-east Wales economy to a business audience outside of Wales.
“We are confident that the Deeside Enterprise Zone has the right mix of support and incentives to support growth and jobs.
“This includes support for business rates, Enhanced Capital Allowances and Superfast Broadband.
“The key point is that Enterprise Zones are very much embedded and aligned with our wider approach to the economy and as such we will continue to give consideration as to whether there is a specific need for additional types of support.”
Mr Sheibani, who runs company Comtek on Deeside Industrial Park, said: “The Enterprise Zone has already helped to bring 1,000 extra jobs over the last year into the zone according to council figures so it has already been a success.
“This will step up in the coming year and there will be tangible progress on the ground at the Northern Gateway site now flood mitigation work has been completed. This will be a massive investment for the area of Deeside.
“The Enterprise Zone status brings a number of benefits. There is rate relief and enhanced capital allowances which make a big difference to companies. Grants are also streamlined for companies in the zone.
“I know of companies that have come here because of the zone and it has also given existing businesses the confidence to invest.
“It means the amount of empty units is negligible. We have available land and a good availability of power, which is important for attracting high energy businesses.
“We are also due to have this power link from the Scottish windfarms and there is a proposal for a major solar park which will again add to the power available.
“We will also soon have the best broadband in Europe. The only downside is the rail links. The line from Wrexham to Bidston/Liverpool is not fit for purpose and the UK and Welsh Government must work together on this.
“They also need to bring the Hawarden bridge station back into use. This would link together the zone here with that on the Wirral and give a major economic boost.”
The Enterprise Zone covers over 2,000 hectares providing space for new and existing businesses to grow and prosper.
It is targeting growth in the advanced manufacturing sector with north east Wales already a leader in the UK. Promotion of the zone has taken place over the border although a campaign at Manchester Airport was stopped short by airport bosses after they said it clashed with its own economic development - Airport City. The other North Wales zones are Anglesey, which is focused on the energy sector, and Snowdonia with digital, low carbon and advanced manufacturing enterprises targeted.


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