A business rate discount scheme is set to be extended for the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone (CVEZ) from April 2021 by Stoke-on-Trent City Council in a bid to create jobs and support new growth in the area.
The extension, would see an estimated £3.4m invested by the city council to give businesses in the zone discounts on their business rates.
The CVEZ is one of the most successful enterprise zones in the UK and is at the heart of Stoke-on-Trent’s continuing economic growth agenda. It has regenerated brownfield land in the area, with two million square feet of high-quality industrial development, some of which has been undeveloped for nearly 40 years. It comprises 140 hectares of land over six sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, including the former Shelton Bar steelworks site in the city, now known as Etruria Valley.
The decision is subject to final agreement by Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet on 23 March and to ratification from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Since its creation in 2016, CVEZ has seen 1000 new jobs created, 44 units constructed (of which 17 are currently occupied), with a further 80 either under construction or planned to be constructed.
The CVEZ currently generates additional business rates of £1.1m a year and this is forecast to increase to £6m a year by the end of the 25-year CVEZ period to 2042.
Business rates incentives on the site, funded by government, and which have been hugely welcomed by businesses, come to an end on 31 March 2021.
This new city council proposal, which is open to industrial, office and logistics occupiers would aim to offer a three-year discount on business rates, capped at £60k* a year, to new businesses arriving on the CVEZ sites of Tunstall Arrow, Highgate and Ravensdale, Chatterley Valley East and Cliffe Vale.
Businesses would need to be on site between April 2021 and March 2026 meaning the last year the discount would be provided is 2029.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown said: “Working with a number of partners, we have created one of the most successful enterprise zones in the country, generating hundreds of jobs and improving the local economy by £18.55m in gross value added. Development and business at the enterprise zone has also continued at pace through the pandemic. Its successes are further proof that Stoke-on-Trent is powering up in response to the coronavirus, with more businesses planning to move onto the site in the coming months.
“As part of this Powering up agenda bolstering recovery in the city, we want to drive forward business growth and accelerate more new jobs in the area. Investing in incentives for businesses at a time when they need it most is hugely important and is even more imperative when we know the current discount scheme has had significant impact.
“As a local authority and as a city, local, regional and national businesses need to know that we place them front and centre and that we are a place committed to supporting them and continued growth. We want them to come here and grow their business here. We’ve got a track record as one of the best performing cities for new business in the UK and the CVEZ speaks volumes about what we can do when the right investment is made.
“Now is not the time for us to shy away from investing in our businesses for the future – this initiative demonstrates exactly our commitment to the contrary and by investing now we will ultimately improve the local area and create more jobs for people in this city.”
Alun Rogers, chair at Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, said: “The Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone is a huge success story for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and plays a significant role in the regional economy, generating jobs and stimulating business growth.
“The business rates incentive has been instrumental for businesses across the whole zone who have welcomed this support. Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is renowned for its industrial, office and logistics markets, and these proposals for a three-year discount on business rates to new occupiers would go some way in continuing to attract and drive growth and recovery throughout the coming years.”
Mo Iqbal, Chairman of Tile Mountain which is located at CVEZ said: “As one of the first occupiers in the Ceramic Valley, Tile Mountain has been delighted to play a part in the change that the enterprise zone has brought to the northern part of Stoke on Trent. The discounted business rates have encouraged companies not only to move into the area but to invest in their businesses thus leading to further job creation which has in turn had a beneficial impact on the local community. Extending the scheme will further strengthen the appeal of the Ceramic Valley to new occupiers.”
While the investment would be funded by the city council in the first instance, it would be repaid to the council over future years through the business rates uplift generated from the zone.
For more information about the enterprise zone and the support that Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire provides, visit www.makeitstokestaffs.co.uk, call 0300 111 8005 or email email@example.com.
For all media enquiries only please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232671.
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