Council outlines rate relief scheme for city enterprise zones

Published on 01 May 2018

RULES for a new business rate relief scheme that aims to help attract new and growing businesses into Leicester’s emerging enterprise zone have been announced.

The Waterside regeneration area and Pioneer Park, close to the National Space Centre, were last year designated part of the Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone.

Companies in enterprise zones can benefit from up to 100 per cent business rates discounts, which could be worth up to £275,000 over five years.

In the Leicester enterprise zones, the city council will be able to offer rates reductions to businesses that meet certain agreed criteria.

In Waterside, high tech manufacturing, creative studio space, new offices, hotels, retail, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments will be considered.

At Pioneer Park, the focus will need to be on knowledge economies including: space technology and satellite-related services (such as mobile phones and satellite TV; low carbon technology and renewable energy; information technology; research and development; and high tech manufacturing.

Businesses must be new to the area or already based here but able to demonstrate planned growth of least 20 per cent over five years. Companies must relocate to the properties in one of the zones by March 2022.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The designation of these two important regeneration areas as enterprise zones provides another valuable incentive for new or growing businesses to invest in Leicester.

“The ability to offer this significant rate reduction will help deliver our ambitious plans for the Waterside area and strengthen the University of Leicester’s proposed National Space Park at Pioneer Park, helping to give Leicester greater prominence on an international scale.”

Waterside and Pioneer Park are part of the Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone. In the first five years, it is expected to generate £3.5milllion in business rates which will be reinvested into projects that help promote the local economy.

The two Leicester enterprise zones are run in partnership by Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), Leicester City Council, University of Leicester and the National Space Centre.

Any relief granted under the new policy will be reimbursed to the council by the Government.

A formal decision on whether to adopt the proposed business rate relief policy for Leicester’s Waterside and Pioneer Park enterprise zones is due to be taken on Thursday 10 May.