West’s first Enterprise zone unveiled in Bristol

June 7, 2011

The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership has named a largely derelict area covering 173 acres behind Temple Meads station as the area's first official Enterprise Zone to act as a magnet for inward investment and create thousands of new jobs.

It is estimated more than 250 businesses can be accommodated in the area, known as Temple Quarter, and that its redevelopment will lead to the creation of almost 17,000 jobs over a 25-year period in more than 240,000 sq m (2.6m sq ft) of new or refurbished space featuring offices, research and development floorspace and retail as part of a wider mixed use development.
The LEP says Temple Quarter will be a hub for all creative minded businesses and that it will focus particularly on attracting creative industries and technology. Very high speed, pervasive digital connectivity will be a central feature of the Zone.
Council Leader Barbara Janke said: "This is excellent news for Bristol and the whole region because the Temple Quarter site is a major gateway that has huge potential to generate jobs and investment. In five years alone almost 4,000 jobs will be created in around 40 businesses – with more to come in the long-term. 


"The focus on creative industries and technology firms opens up opportunities of creating a media hub in the city, and will build on the world-class reputation of Bristol and the West in these sectors. The Enterprise Zone will also encourage the vision that we and partners have for Temple Meads as a major transport interchange."

LEP chairman Colin Skellett said this was the most significant step taken by the LEP, a public/private partnership between business, local authorities and education created earlier this year to replace work previously done by the South West RDA.

“We set ourselves the task of removing the barriers to the creation of new jobs and the Government gave us the opportunity to do that, in part, by creating an Enterprise Zone," he said. It brings a number of advantages to businesses by reducing both the amount of planning red tape and the cost of their rates. But it also generates benefits for the area as a whole since we are able to retain the business rates that are generated which can be used to improve the other five areas we have identified."

The five Enterprise Areas will be Avonmouth/Severnside, Bath City Riverside, Emersons Green/Science Park, Filton/A38, Weston Regeneration Area.

The LEP has also agreed measures to ensure that the Enterprise Zone will not be given an unfair advantage over the surrounding area.

Marketing arrangements will minimise competition between locations and ensure a complementary offer is established for inward investment across the entire West of England. It will also ensure there is a non competition or enticement clause to prevent poaching.

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