Investment zones: What do we know about Lancashire's bid for a low-tax growth zone?
Lancashire has made an official bid for a new Investment Zone, in the hope of generating tens of thousands of jobs and adding billions to the local economy.
Investment zones are a new government initiative unveiled last month by former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.
They are set to be areas of low-tax and low-regulation in a bid to boost growth.
It is thought that businesses will receive “accelerated” tax reliefs for 10 years for structures and buildings, and 100 per cent tax relief on investment in plant and machinery in the specified zones.
There will be no stamp duty on purchases of land and buildings in those zones, and no business rates for newly occupied business premises.
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Three main areas
Lancashire’s bid is an ambitious plan for a zone that would span Lancashire using a series of interlinked ‘enterprise corridors’ and employment clusters.
The proposed Lancashire Investment Zone would sit at the heart of an emerging pan-Lancashire Growth Plan – Lancashire 2050 - which also includes unitary authorities, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool councils.
It would have three interlinked strategic areas:
- The North-South Enterprise Corridor would span from as far north as Heysham, through central Lancashire and down into West Lancashire.
- The East Lancashire Enterprise Corridor would cover sites from Samlesbury and across into Burnley, Hyndburn and Pendle.
- The Fylde Coast Enterprise Corridor would cover areas across the Fylde, Wyre, and Blackpool coast.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, leader of the county council and chair of Lancashire Leaders, said: “We are delighted that we're able to present a strong proposal to establish an investment zone in Lancashire that demonstrates the scale of opportunities across our county.
"A lot has already been achieved to realise Lancashire’s potential, and we are keen to build on this, working closely with our partners to help drive forward major development sites included in our bid to government.
"There is massive potential across Lancashire and we are ready to move at pace using our existing development pipeline as well as new, ambitious opportunities including those aligned to the development of our historic new 'Lancashire 2050' strategy."