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16/02/2017

New enterprise zone launched in East Midlands

Words: Laura Edgar
Loughborough University

Local government ministers Marcus Jones has announced that a new enterprise zone will be set up in Loughborough and Leicester, bringing jobs to the Midlands Engine.

The new Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone will cover three sites across Loughborough and Leicester. It aims to bring 6,500 jobs to the region by building on the local area’s expertise in the sector.

The National Space Centre is in Leicester and the government hopes to attract space-age businesses to the area with the offer of specialist research and development facilities to bring innovative ideas and products to the market.

The enterprise zone will cover 160 hectares at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park, Charnwood Campus and Leicester Waterside. The government said it forms a key part of its plans to “fire up the Midlands Engine and create an economy that works for everyone in all parts of the country”.

Jones said: “Leicester and Loughborough have a strong track record in the science and innovation industries, so we’re determined to support the area by attracting new businesses.

“This new enterprise zone will help secure as many as 6,500 jobs for people right at the heart of the Midlands Engine and the site has real potential to rocket to the top of the space science field.

“I’ve seen first-hand the new zone’s ambitious plans to boost local growth, which forms an essential part of the government’s commitment to create an economy that works for everyone.”

Nick Pulley, chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, said: “Confirmation of this second enterprise zone will make Leicester and Leicestershire extremely attractive to science, innovation and hi-tech manufacturing companies looking for research facilities and industrial and office space to base and expand their businesses.

“We have already seen this model working brilliantly at MIRA Technology Park in the automotive sector and we will look to replicate this in the science, innovation and hi-tech manufacturing sectors.”

Leicester’s mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, added that is “critical” that growth deal funding is forthcoming to support the delivery of the sites.

More information about the area’s city and growth deals can be found on the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership website.

Image credit | Loughborough University

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