COUNCIL leaders have spoken of the importance of an Enterprise Zone which could be established in north Derbyshire to attract business and industry.
It was announced today that thousands of local jobs could be created following the proposal by Bolsover, Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire District Councils to form part of the proposed new Enterprise Zone on an area of the existing Markham Employment Growth Zone, off junction 29a of the M1.
Markham is one of three sites that will now be put forward to the Government by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to form an ‘Advanced Engineering and Technology Growth spine’ linked to the M1.
NE Derbyshire District Council Leader Cllr Graham Baxter MBE said: “It’s wonderful news that the Sheffield City Region LEP has taken on board the proposal from our three councils. If approved by the Government it will provide a huge and long term economic boost for the economies of Bolsover, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire, since the Enterprise Zone status would last for 25 years.”
Cllr Eion Watts, Leader of Bolsover District Council said that the three authorities have been working hand-in-hand to develop the Enterprise Zone proposal: “All three of the council areas have been badly affected by the ongoing economic downturn. By working together to develop this proposal we hope to create a brighter future for the north eastern Derbyshire jobs market. This is absolutely fantastic news.”
Cllr John Burrows, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, explained that Enterprise Zone status is a big draw for businesses. “The zones offer financial incentives to attract new enterprises from around the country and abroad,” he said. “And by linking the existing Markham site with the Sheffield City Region LEP’s wider M1 ‘growth spine’, it means we open up the potential for new highly skilled jobs and training by attracting advanced engineering and technology businesses.”
The three councils are key partners in the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership. The Sheffield partnership is one of the first wave of LEPs around the country created in 2010 to bring together businesses, industry and local councils to plan the development of their regions and attract new investment and growth.
The Markham Employment Growth Zone was developed as a partnership project led by Derbyshire County Council in conjunction with Bolsover, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire District Councils, along with other agencies. It involved creation of a new junction on the M1, J29a. The entire site covers 200 acres, though the Enterprise Zone would cover a smaller area of the site which is yet to be finalised.
For more indepth coverage on this story see this week’s Derbyshire Times.