EZ Creates 1200 jobs
Birmingham Enterprise Zone driving forward growth
Birmingham’s Enterprise Zone is playing a vital role in driving forward the economy, creating hundreds of jobs and helping transform the city centre into the country’s next financial centre, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced.
Figures released today (Wednesday 12 November) show the Government’s 24 enterprise zones have created 12,530 jobs, attracted 434 new businesses and generated over £2 billion worth of private investment since opening for business.
Birmingham’s enterprise zone has played its part in that success story, creating more than 1,200 jobs. The zone is aiming to become the country’s next financial centre, attracting new businesses alongside established giants like KPMG and Barclays. Its ambition is to create 40,000 jobs over the next 25 years, providing a £2.8 billion annual boost to the local economy.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “Birmingham’s Enterprise Zone is really starting to pick up steam, transforming the city centre and creating more than 1,200 jobs. This is just the start and I know the ambition and vision is there to firmly put Birmingham on the map as the country’s next financial centre. It’s further proof that our enterprise zone programme is on track, creating thousands of jobs, attracting billions in investment and driving forward local economies.”
The Government opened the 24 enterprise zones in April 2012 as part of a 25-year project to rebalance the economy, offering tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband.
That vision has provided a major boost to the UK construction sector with work already carried out to redevelop 85 hectares of land and deliver more than 47,000 square metres of new or refurbished floor space.
Commenting on the news, Chris Webster, board director for GBSLEP with responsibility for the enterprise zone, said: “This announcement is great news in that it clearly demonstrates that the enterprise zone is gaining momentum and delivering on our plans and all the investment designed to generate jobs and growth.
“In July this year we announced an extension to the EZ investment plan from the original figure of £128M to £275M, with the long term goal of creating 40,000 new jobs. In addition, the plans have been designed to generate a further £2Bn for the local economy and create 1.4 sq metres of floor space and 26 city centre sites.
“The arrival of HS2 is also providing some fantastic opportunities to create growth for the city and in line with this, an initial £30 million is being provided to kick-start regeneration activity at Birmingham Curzon, helping to accelerate growth ahead of the arrival of HS2.
In addition, we’ve also created a £40 million fund to support the delivery of priorities across the GBSLEP area, including £20m to support maximising the economic impact of the HS2 Interchange at Birmingham Airport and the NEC.
“All this is investment is not only creating employment for the execution of the projects themselves, but increasing the prospects for more new jobs and opportunities to delivery growth for the GBSLEP region.”
The Birmingham Enterprise Zone is providing a real platform for existing and emerging financial companies to grow. Benefits include:
- Big City Plan: The zone is delivering Birmingham’s transformational Big City Plan, a 20-year vision to create a world-class city centre with a high quality business district;
- Financial district: Two Snowhill is one of the largest office buildings outside of London. Launched on the zone in Spring 2013, it will be a key landmark of the city’s financial district;
- Regeneration: The enterprise zone is playing a leading role in the redevelopment of Birmingham city centre, with work to begin shortly on the £450 million redevelopment of Paradise Circus, as well as the expansion of the Midland Metro to Broad Street, in addition to a host of business and skills support packages; and
- Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership (LEPs) is investing the retained business rates from the zone to support projects worth up to £275 million up to 2022/23. This will unlock further growth potential in the zone and support the delivery of the LEP’s objectives for the region.