Money up for grabs to kick-start drive for growth and jobs in the Nottingham Enterprise Zone
MORE money will be available to kick-start the Nottingham Enterprise Zone.
Initial work on creating the zone on the Boots site in Beeston is due to start later this year.
A total of £25 million will be spent on infrastructure improvements designed to open up areas of disused land so that hundreds of new homes can be built and thousands of new jobs created.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced yesterday that a new £59 million fund has been made available to invest in 24 Enterprise Zones across the country.
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He invited partnerships behind the zones to bid for a share of the cash, which will go towards infrastructure projects needed to unlock land and help businesses set up. It is not clear how much of the cash could be coming to Nottingham.
But city council deputy leader Graham Chapman said: "I welcome the opportunity to bid for new money if it will help make Nottingham's Enterprise Zone an even more viable proposition and speed up bringing new jobs to the area.
"Linking the enterprise zone with the existing road network is one area we might look at to use such funding."
Steve Barber, Broxtowe borough councillor for Beeston Rylands, which is home to part of the Nottingham Enterprise Zone site, said: "There's a fair amount of infrastructure work needed to get the jobs in there, in terms of access and road improvements around the area. The trouble is we need something to kick-start it. This funding could be that element."
It was confirmed last November that £25 million will be spent on the first steps towards creating the Nottingham Enterprise Zone.
Boots said the scheme will kick-start development, jobs and, hopefully, a cluster of healthcare businesses.
The money comes from a partnership between Alliance Boots, the Government, the D2N2 local enterprise partnership and the city council.
Work will be completed at the end of 2014 and will include strengthening flood defences, cleaning the site and putting in new roads, telecommunications and IT infrastructure.
Enterprise zones offer tax breaks on disused sites to encourage firms to move in and create jobs.
Mr Pickles said: "Economic growth is this Government's biggest priority and Enterprise Zones are the engine room of that strategy.
"This new fund will turbo charge that engine by turning shovel-ready sites into job-ready sites.
"Enterprise zones have all the raw ingredients and growth incentives, simplified planning, low tax, super fast broadband and inward investment."