A new enterprise zone in Devon will be cutting business rates to attract businesses who are looking to expand.
The new Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone is currently in the planning stages, and is estimated to be worth £10million a year. The plans have now moved a step forward, as both Devon County Council and East Devon District Council agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government.
The zone covers four key areas; Skypark, Science Park, Cranbrook town centre, and the Airport Business Park expansion. The plan would be in place for 25 years, and aims to boost business in the area whilst also supporting local companies.
As part of this plan, business rates could be reduced. The Government funded reduction could be worth up to £275,000 over a five-year period. Additional business rates from within the zone will then be locally reinvested to support the economic growth of the area.
The Councils have also approved a Business Rates Relief Policy, ensuring that the reduction only goes to those that are genuinely expanding, and also prevents the potential for companies to be displaced from other areas of the country. Businesses currently in Devon that wish to move to the zone will need to provide evidence that there is no appropriate expansion space at their current site.
Councillor Paul Diviani, leader of East Devon District Council, said “The Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone is a win-win. It further enhances our attractiveness to businesses and investors whilst giving us local control to reinvest the funds raised to further promote growth.
“The Memorandum of Understanding and related policies also provides us with the framework and reassurance that all partners will be better off as a result of the creation of the Enterprise Zone.”
The East Devon District Council, Devon County Council, and partner agencies are now working on implementation of the plan. It will then be signed off with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.