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Manufacturing zones designated in East Midlands

Words: Laura Edgar
Cash for space industry in Leicester / iStock-537703358

Communities secretary James Brokenshire has announced the four projects that will form the new East Midlands Manufacturing Zones.

The government says the zones have been created to reduce planning restrictions to allow land to be used more productively and provide certainty for business investment.

A total of £500,000 will be split between the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise to create a zone in Melton Mowbray; the University of Leicester for Space Park Leicester; the Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership for advanced manufacturing industries; and D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership to develop the Northern Derbyshire Manufacturing Zone.

The government wants the cash to build on existing strengths in space, food and advanced manufacturing across the East Midlands.

Brokenshire is visiting organisations across the region today to see how they are contributing to the UK economy. He is visiting Derby City Council’s rough sleeping accommodation, the East Midlands Airport, Norton Motorcycles in Castle Donington, and the National Space Centre in Leicester.

He said: “Manufacturing, innovation and trade are at the heart of the East Midlands economy, so it is the perfect place for the UK’s first Manufacturing Zones.

“This is another example of how the government is delivering for the Midlands with our modern industrial strategy backing local businesses and building on local strengths.”

Government support for the Midlands Engine includes £1.9 billion of funding for the Local Growth Fund and £20 million in the Midlands Skills Challenge to boost employment prospects for local people.

The East Midlands Manufacturing Zones – a breakdown

Melton Mowbray – £75,000

Three locations on the edge of Melton Mowbray, as well as a centrally located site, have been identified as suitable locations for a distinctive food and drink-focused manufacturing zone. It will be created by the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise partnership.

The zone should help to sustain and grow food and drink manufacturing by providing an attractive portfolio of land, support for demand analysis, and feasibility work such as masterplanning.

University of Leicester, Low Cost Access to Space – £50,000

The funding will go towards the design of the Low-Cost Access to Space facility, part of the planned Space Park Leicester, to ensure that it is accessible to space-focused manufacturers in the area and meets their business needs.

Manufacturing zone status will build on the Space Park Leicester’s Enterprise Zone and space-based Science Park status, explained the government.

Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership – £155,000

The funding will accelerate the development of the food and advanced manufacturing industries across Lincolnshire and the South Humber Industrial Investment Programme area (Holbeach, Central Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire). The investment will support projects to improve transport and utilities infrastructure.

The food sector in Greater Lincolnshire is valued at £3.5 billion, with a particular strength in pre-prepared food. There are 75 large UK/international companies and 4,000 SMEs in the area.

The Northern Derbyshire Manufacturing Zone – £220,000

The Northern Derbyshire Manufacturing Zone is designed to accelerate development on six sites across three local authorities in northern Derbyshire (Bolsover, North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield). They all have manufacturing heritage and presence to enable the area to benefit from potential investment associated with the development and maintenance of HS2, according to the government.

It will be developed by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and should provide greater certainty on planning issues to unlock investment for growth by manufacturing businesses in the zone.

Image credit | iStock