Enterprise Zones drive forward UK industry with foreign investment /

ImageGen-3Enterprise Zones are pushing the UK ahead of global competitors after attracting even more overseas automotive investment, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said today.

Since the creation of the North East Enterprise Zone in April 2012, more than 600 jobs have been created.

Four new companies have moved into the A19 zone including logistics firm Vantec, which has invested £22.5m to build a 421,000 sq. ft base providing logistics andwarehousing services to Nissan.

In addition GatesheadCollege will create a ground-breaking International Centre for Low Carbon Vehicle Development next to Nissan, providing vocational skills training to benefit local businesses.

The North East Enterprise Zone is one of five firmly behind innovation in the UK’s automotive industry. They are part of the Government’s Automotive Industrial Strategy which aims to secure the long term future of the sector and grow the UK’s share of it, using research and development to stay at the cutting edge of change.

Announcing the creation of a new European Technical Centre for Swedish automotive safety systems manufacturer Haldex, at the MIRA Enterprise Zone in Leicestershire, Eric Pickles said:

“We have acted fast to tackle the deficit. We are now focused on backing the industries of the future, growing the private sector and making Britain a great place to do business.

“When international companies invest here it shows we have got our offer right. Every 20 seconds a car, van, bus or truck rolls off a UK production line and Enterprise Zones are magnets for the global motor industry with the best international businesses choosing them as their home.

“This is just the beginning – Enterprise Zones are at the heart of our long-term economic plans. They are already making a big difference, attracting increased investment to the UK – half a billion pounds so far – and creating over 4,600 jobs in just a year and a half.”

Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable said:

“The British car industry is a big national success story. This year it has attracted more than £2.5 billion of investment and created 5,000 new jobs. Haldex’s decision to base its European Technical Centre at MIRA shows we are an attractive place for international companies to do business.

“The Government’s industrial strategy is clearly working and giving business the confidence to invest and create more high skilled, long term jobs in the UK. We have launched the £3 million Automotive Investment Organisation – a specialist team dedicated to winning overseas investment in the UK car industry. We have also committed more than £1 billion over the next 10 years to ensure the UK maintains its leading position on researching and developing greener car technology.”

Paul Woolston, chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“The LEP’s North East EZ land adjacent to Nissan has proved to be extremely popular. With keen interest from two major employers the first parcel of land was released to Vantec which now operates one of the sector’s most efficient and productive logistics operations from the site.

“This was the first EZ site in the country to have a major development underway, and it has been followed up with adjacent investments in R&D and grow-on space by Zero Carbon Futures and Gateshead College. The site is ideally suited to take advantage of the country’s only test track dedicated to low carbon vehicles which runs alongside the EZ.

“In addition, Sunderland City Council’s £6m Washington Business Centre on the EZ will be open in Spring 2014 and is ideally placed for businesses serving the advanced manufacturing and low carbon industries. Over the road, on the final phase of this EZ site to be released, a combination of public funding from the RGF, ERDF and the North East LEP’s Investment Fund will be used to develop the necessary infrastructure that will accommodate the growth of a number of prospective occupiers.

“As Nissan and the other automotive original equipment manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers in the North East continue to thrive, so the North East LEP is ensuring that the space and skills are available for the continued concentration of this key sector in the most productive, export-driven part of the UK.”

Enterprise Zones making a difference to the economy

Enterprise Zones are generating new long term investment, laying the foundations for future industries and helping to rebalance the economy. Since they were launched in April 2012, England’s 24 Enterprise Zones have attracted 212 businesses, secured half a billion pounds of private sector investment and created over 4,600 jobs.

Today’s announcement is further proof that Enterprise Zones are attracting international companies, building centres of excellence in key sectors such as automotive, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy, and delivering the infrastructure and training that will ensure that Britain continues to be competitive and successful on the global stage. They are delivering the Government’s industrial strategy by investing in technology, boosting skills, strengthening supply chains and maintaining the UK’s business competitiveness.

In Teesside, the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone is home to the largest enhanced capital allowances project, Air Products (in terms of the private sector investment of £320m) and one of the largest business rate relief projects Tracerco (in terms of build at 61,000 sq ft).

Twelve projects have located onto the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone levering in over £440m of private sector investment.

UK automotive Industry driving forward

Enterprise Zones in Leicestershire, Liverpool, the Black Country, Sunderland and Northampton are using business incentives like global car manufacturers to make themselves magnets for the motor industry boosting supply chains and generating thousands of jobs.

Over 35 top automotive companies are already in the Zones including Toyota, Cosworth and Pirelli.  On top of that over 15 automotive businesses have moved to or plan to move to the Zones since 2012, including Jaguar Land Rover, Bosch Engineering, Triumph, Norgren, Ashok Leyland, Lockheed Martin and Bloodhound.

The Zones are working with local areas and schools to inspire the next generation of automotive workers and will create apprenticeships to train local people. By 2020, around 200 new apprenticeships and graduate training places will be required on MIRA. There is also an employment and skills work programme to support skills for businesses locating there.

In the North East Enterprise Zone, GatesheadCollege will create a ground-breaking International Centre for Low Carbon Vehicle Development adjacent to Nissan, providing vocational skills training to benefit local businesses.


Notes to Editors:


  • Enterprise Zones are at the centre of the Government’s ambitious, long term plan to rebalance the economy and achieve strong, lasting growth and widely shared prosperity. They are key to putting the Government’s Industrial strategy into action and attracting investment and supporting innovation in new and emerging markets.
  • The Government is ensuring that Enterprise Zones are well connected with transport networks, and super-fast broadband. And new businesses receive strong fiscal support from Government through business rate reductions and capital allowances, along with support to sell into growing markets overseas and to attract inward investment. Backed up by billions of pounds of Government funding in infrastructure and training they will ensure that Britain continues to be competitive and successful on the global stage.
  • Swedish company Haldex is a major supplier to the commercial vehicle sector, manufacturing safety related systems for braking, suspension and stability control.  The announcement marks the start of the development which is due to complete in October 2014. Haldex, employs 2,200 people across its 10 global production sites and 3 distribution centres. Its net sales for 2012 were £390m.


Automotive Enterprise Zones:

  • North East:  The Zone will be a world leader in the emerging market for low carbon research and development. Companies on the Enterprise Zone can work in collaboration with Nissan, and have access to their world class facilities. The plant produces more ‘cars per worker’ than any factory in Europe. One in three new cars produced in the UK are built there.
  • MIRA: the UK’s largest automotive technology park, home to the most extensive automotive test ground and test laboratory facilities in the UK, is developing the future technology of the UK transport industry.
  • Black Country:  The leading automotive business hub in the UK.  JaguarLand Rover are investing £500 million in the construction of a new engine plant on the Zone to manufacture new engines.
  • Northampton:  The Zone is growing into a centre for high-performance, automotive engineering and motor sportsClose proximity to Formula One’s Silverstone Racetrack and the top Formula One teams, including Red Bull.
  • Mersey Waters:  The Zone will place automotive supply chain companies in close proximity to the many major car and truck manufacturers in the region.


Key Facts:

  • Most major automotive companies in the UK, like Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Aston Martin and Bentley either design, test or develop their cars in an English Enterprise Zone. They are developing the next generation of electric cars, braking systems, unmanned vehicle systems and intelligent transport systems.
  • Low carbon: Nissan is already producing their all-electric Leaf car and high tech batteries in the North East Zone which will is focusing on the mass production of low carbon technology.
  • Safety: MIRA Network Assisted Vehicle ensures no drivers or fully automated vehicles are needed during crash testing scenarios through wireless technology.
  • Design: Automotive companies, such as Bentley, use the Sheffield Zone’s cutting edge 3D Visualisation Suite to dramatically reduce the number of prototypes required in the development cycle of a new model.


  • 15 automotive businesses have moved onto the Zones since April 2012, including Bosch Engineering, Triumph, Norgren, Ashok Leyland and Lockheed Martin and Bloodhound.
  • Enterprise Zone incentives, along with these global names, attract supply chain companies. Vantec Europe opened its new £22.5 million warehouse which produces parts for manufacturers including Nissan and Cummins making Vantec the largest supplier of critical logistics to Nissan Sunderland plant. They will create 230 new jobs over two years in the area.
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