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Posted on 03.09.2015

• Discovery Park Enterprise Zone is now home to 2,300 jobs and 125 businesses latest figures show

• More than 2,000 trainees and apprentices are benefiting from zones nationally, tackling local skills gaps

Enterprise zones are playing a vital role in growing the local and national economy, delivering greater prosperity to our economy and have now attracted more than 19,000 across the country jobs latest figures show.

The 24 zones report that they have now attracted £2.2billion of private investment and more than 540 new businesses across a range of key industries including the automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical and renewable energy industry sectors.

Along with boosting the number of jobs the zones are proving popular with colleges seeking to set-up facilities and training opportunities to fill gaps in the local skills market.

Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton said:

“We are seeing Enterprise Zones across the country create thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investment, boosting the local and national economy. This is testament to the hard work of local people making the most of opportunities the zones bring for attracting firms.

“Having 19,000 new jobs on zones is a significant milestone and one which we will continue to build as part of the Government’s long-term economic plan to rebalance the economy.

“Britain is a great place to do business and there is much untapped potential local areas can build on, to make the most of their unique benefits, which is why more areas and businesses will be able to benefit from the support in a new wave of zones.”

Discovery Park Enterprise Zone includes a number of success stories. These include Agalimmune. The firm has gone from strength to strength since relocating its cancer research and development business to the zone from a leading science park in Cambridge.

Mike Westby, chief executive for Agalimmune, said: “As a small company we were looking for a place with competitive rates, a place with a skilled workforce or potential workforce that we could identify and recruit.

“What we saw at Discovery Park was not only people trained to work in this space who we could access, but also a lot of adjacent companies who had the skills and facilities we could work with in order to establish the business.”

Venomtech, which extracts venom from creatures to be used in drug discovery and development, including pain relief drugs, is also benefiting from the zone.

Steven Trim, Venomtech’s founder and Managing Director said: “The facilities at Discovery Park really attracted us to move Venomtech here; we’ve progressed from a teaching laboratory to an up-scale pharmaceuticals laboratory. Our potential and possibilities are ideally situated to be realised here.”

The Government launched Enterprise Zones in April 2012 as part of the long-term economic plan to rebalance the economy so all parts of the country have the tools to thrive. The Chancellor announced the further expansion of the programme as part of his summer budget.

The zones, which are delivering a multi-billion boost to local economies, offer a number of benefits including tax incentives, simplified planning and superfast broadband for firms.

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