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Durham Business & Innovation Services

News & Press Cuttings

Enterprise zones face strict limits on help available

(19 August 2011)

INVESTORS looking to bring jobs to Tyneside will face strict Government limits on the help available to them.

The North East yesterday unveiled its low-carbon enterprise zone which will bring in some £200m in extra taxes to be spent in the region and create up to 7,000 jobs.

Ministers gave the green light to a package of financial incentives offered at two locations – one near Nissan linked to the electric vehicle supply chain and the other along the banks of the River Tyne linked to offshore manufacturing.

Council leaders and businesses forming the region’s local enterprise partnership agreed the plan despite an alternative proposal based around Newcastle and Gateshead, which would have created 32,000 jobs and generated £900m for the regional economy.

One of the reasons given for this was that a series of extra capital allowances can now be offered to firms bringing heavy industry to the region, making it easier to entice large manufacturers.

But incentives, offsetting purchases of heavy machinery or possibly research against tax bills, will be limited.

It is thought the first handful of large firms coming to the banks of the Tyne may use up the roughly £7m in capital allowances, meaning the success of the enterprise zone will be put at risk unless the right businesses are brought in quickly.

An immediate winner out of the enterprise zone decision is Shepherd Offshore.