Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone Masterplan Consultation

Update: Date announced for the public consultation event for the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone

The public consultation event to view and discuss plans and proposals for the development of the Enterprise Zone (EZ) is being held on Friday 1 December.

It will take place from 12 noon until 16.30 pm at the newly completed Lancashire Energy HQ, a key early development within the EZ.

The event has been organised following Blackpool and Fylde Councils releasing a draft Masterplan for the site. The strategic document will set the future development of the EZ and open up its full potential.

The 144 hectare EZ came into existence in April 2016 with a programmed 25 year lifespan. Aspirations are to host 3,000 new jobs, secure in excess of £300m of private sector investment with 180 plus new businesses locating to the site.

Following this period of consultation by both Local Authorities, the Masterplan will be finalised before being presented to both Authorities for adoption in early 2018.

Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone Masterplan Consultation Process

There will be opportunities at the event to speak to those involved in developing the Masterplan as well as those responsible for taking the development forward in the future. Feedback on the plans will be welcomed at the event.

The public consultation will run until Thursday 21 December 2017.

The Masterplan will be available on the websites of both Local Authorities. Feedback will be taken online, by email, letter and in person at the drop-in event.

View the plans at: www.blackpool.gov.uk/airportez

Make your comments:

  • At the drop-in event on 1 December
  • By email planning@blackpool.gov.uk
  • By post to Planning Department, PO Box 17, Corporation Street, Blackpool FY1 1LZ
  • By phone 01253 476193

Building on the Enterprise Zone Success

There are two Enterprise Zones on the Fylde Coast. Blackpool Airport and a sister Enterprise Zone at Hillhouse Technology Business Park in Thornton Cleveleys. They are being overseen by the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company (EDC) on behalf of the local authorities and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The 144 hectare Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone (EZ) came into existence in April 2016. It has a programmed 25 year lifespan and aspirations to:

  • host 3,000 new jobs,
  • secure in excess of £300m of private sector investment
  • secure 180 plus new businesses locating to the EZ.

The Government backed EZ celebrated its first anniversary as a dynamic and thriving hub for investment and business growth earlier this year.

Since going ‘live’ it’s now home to over 200 businesses and around 1500 employees. The site has already attracted 28 new companies and is hosting 450 new jobs in the area. It is expected to add an extra 2,500 jobs over the next 24 years.

Companies operating in the business park cover diverse industry sectors and range from manufacturers and energy consultants to accountants and a publishing house.

Business Rates Relief

To attract incoming companies to the EZ, business rate relief is available up to a maximum of £275,000 over a five year period for new businesses locating before April 2022.

Businesses can also benefit from Enhanced Capital Allowances for investment in new fixed plant and machinery until November 2023.

Blackpool and the Fylde College’s Lancashire Energy Headquarters

The first students were also welcomed at Blackpool and the Fylde College’s Lancashire Energy Headquarters which opened last year. The £9.8m flagship development is backed by £6.2m of Growth Deal funding and will provide a high standard training facility. It will deliver the full range of technical and professional education required by the energy industry, with a particular focus on the green and renewables sectors.

The Blackpool Airport and Hillhouse Technology Enterprise Zone sites are part of the wider Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster (LAMEC) which also includes the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone and the Warton Aviation Enterprise Zone. Together they provide a compelling offer to investors and occupiers in globally competitive sectors and is of considerable significance to the economic success of Lancashire, to the North of England and to the UK.

The EZ Cluster has the potential to generate 10,000 new high value jobs over its lifetime, ensuring Lancashire builds on its position as one of the UK’s leading centres of excellence.

Local Growth and Prosperity

Cllr Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Economic Development, said: “Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone is one of the council’s biggest projects as part of its Growth and Prosperity Programme. It is playing a key part in delivering Blackpool Council’s vision for jobs and growth in the area. The site has already seen a surge in activity with new developments, existing buildings adding extra office space, and new warehouse facilities.

“Our vision is to make the site a premier business location in the North West where high quality businesses facilitate economic growth and employment and further develop the strong skills and knowledge base of the Fylde Coast.

“In order to ensure its robust delivery there needs to be a sound and detailed Masterplan framework in place, which this consultation will help to provide. It will support achieving future growth of the site and provide confidence for businesses and investors.

“It has already been the subject of extensive stakeholder consultation over many months. It will be regularly reviewed over the lifetime of the project to ensure it is up to date and reflective of the changing economic circumstances as the project develops.”

Trevor Fiddler, Chairman of the Planning Committee for Fylde Council said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the economy of the Fylde Coast and I would encourage as many people as possible to contribute to the consultation. The Masterplan is not set in concrete, rather it provides a framework to maximise the delivery of the potential of the Enterprise Zone to provide confidence for businesses and investors. It also gives plenty of scope for stakeholders and potential businesses to engage with the Masterplan and contribute to the final shape of this extraordinary site.”

David Taylor, Deputy Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership said: “The Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone is a key offer within the Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster (LAMEC) which has been developed by the LEP to showcase Lancashire nationally and internationally as a dynamic, world-class and compelling investment location with the potential to generate 10,000 new high value jobs over its lifetime. The success of the Airport Enterprise Zone, with facilities such as the Energy HQ, plays a crucial role in our integrated approach to economic growth through the Cluster model. This is why the LEP, the EDC and Blackpool Council are keen to engage with all partners and stakeholders through this consultation process to ensure we maximise the potential offered by this site and also to explore how it can effectively reinforce LAMEC’s strong proposition.”

Find out More about Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone

The final version of the Masterplan is scheduled to go to its Executive for consideration and adoption in February 2018.

If your business is considering expansion, needs to secure new premises, or could make good use of the benefits of the Enterprise Zones, get in touch with us at Jones Harris. We can provide you with specific advice about how the financials of the rates relief and allowances sit with your own business plan. We can also put you in touch with other people who can provide advice before you make this important decision.

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