Haverhill Research Park has received a big boost after being given Enterprise Zone status in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement.
The park is part of the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone, one of a number of new Enterprise Zones confirmed in the Statement by George Osborne.
The zone has been promoted by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP and St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
Enterprise Zone status carries a number of benefits, including a business rate discount of up to 100 per cent for five years for businesses moving into part of the zone.
The LEP will retain 100 per cent of the business rate growth within the zone for the next 25 years, enabling further investment in the area’s economic growth.
Nic Rumsey, from Haverhill Research Park, said: “This is fantastic news for Haverhill Research Park, and for Haverhill generally. “The benefits that being part of the Enterprise Zone brings will undoubtedly add to our competitive edge within the Greater Cambridge area and we look forward to pushing forward with this as soon as possible.”
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Council, said: “Promoting economic growth is at the heart of everything we do at St Edmundsbury and I am delighted that our Enterprise Zone bid for Haverhill has been approved.
“St Edmundsbury has been involved from the outset in helping push forward the Haverhill Research Park and our ambition to help create up to 2,000 new skilled jobs for people living in Haverhill.
“We have already worked with the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP to secure funding for this site and have collaborated with them once again to make this now successful bid.
“At the same time we have been lobbying Government for greater control on business rates locally, and the creation of this new Enterprise Zone should enable us to offer further incentives to help achieve our vision for Haverhill.
“The last piece in the jigsaw is the actual details in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s spending review but we look forward to the delivery of this exciting project for Haverhill, West Suffolk and beyond.”
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 Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone will come into effect from April 1, 2016, with the 100 per cent business rates discount on offer to new occupiers until March 31, 2022.
The proposal was developed by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP and submitted to Government earlier this year.