Compass gets the go ahead
A cluster of local development sites are celebrating after being awarded Enterprise Zone status thanks to the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, unveiled a series of new Enterprise Zones across the UK within the Spending Review and Autumn Statement today (Wednesday 25th November 2015).
The Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone creates a unique opportunity to expand the reach of Cambridge – global innovation centre – to the surrounding market towns, new communities and wider rural areas to boost the local and national economy. It includes sites in Waterbeach, Haverhill, Ely, Cambourne, and Northstowe.
Enterprise Zone status brings with it a number of benefits, including a business rate discount of up to 100% for five years for businesses moving into part of the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone. As a bonus for the local area, the LEP will retain 100% of the business rate growth within the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone for the next 25 years, which will enable further investment in economic growth across the area.
Mark Reeve, Chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said: “Securing Enterprise Zone status for the Cambridge Compass is a real boost for the local economy. We know that businesses, particularly international ones, want a base in Cambridge, which can drive up local rents and constrain supply. By drawing these sites together under the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone, we can provide a unique proposition to national and international companies looking for a new place to locate their businesses, drawing out the benefits of Cambridge to the surrounding area.
“The additional business rates income will also create a vital source of funding to support further economic development work across the local area for the next 25 years. Having a long term source of funding is critical to the continued development and economic success of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough area. We therefore welcome the opportunity to not only deliver vital new business space via these sites, but also generate income for our area.” The site includes within the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone are as follows:
The Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone will come into effect from 1st April 2016, with the 100% business rates discount on offer to new occupiers until 31st March 2022.
The proposal was developed by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP and submitted to Government earlier this year.