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SEMLEP media release: Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone is open for business

17 August 2011

Issue Date: 17/08/2011

Northampton has been given the green light to create a new Enterprise Zone. Over 120 hectares of land of the town's riverside is now available to new small and medium sized businesses as the town looks to become the home of innovation and high performance engineering.

Today (17 August) Northampton was named as one of the Government's newest Enterprise Zones. The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership is looking to make Northampton's Waterside a national centre of excellence for advanced technologies, precision engineering, low carbon technology, sustainable construction and high performance engineering.

As just one of 21 new Enterprise Zones the Northampton Waterside is now a prime location for new businesses. Backed by a strong partnership of businesses, local authorities and other organisations such as the University of Northampton the new Enterprise Zone is creating opportunities for new businesses to come to Northampton and join 'Motorsport Valley'.

A strong body of research has demonstrated that the area could deliver almost 400 new businesses and 7,700 new jobs in just three years. And, by 2021 the area is planning to have created over 17,000 new jobs across the region.

Brian Hibbert CBE, Chair of the Interim SEMLEP Board said: "This is fantastic news for Northampton and the South East Midlands. Our research has shown how Northampton's Waterside has massive potential for growth and it is clear that the Government recognises this too. The Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone is now open for business, and I expect to see the high performance engineering sector take an interest in what we are doing and the excellent opportunities available. This award reflects the strength of the team of Business and Local Authorities we have built across the SEMLEP area and will enable investment in other aspects of our growth agenda"

Councillor David Palethorpe, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: "This puts Northampton on the map as the place to do business in the motorsport industry. Building on the reputation of 'Motorsport Valley' we will be looking to attract major investors from around the world. Working with our successful existing business and the ambitions of our University we have the chance to see Northampton become a world renown centre for engineering and innovation."

Work will now begin on making over 120 hectares of the town's waterside available for conversion into high value commercial and industrial floorspace. This will be supported by a simplified planning process will be introduced to help businesses quickly build the facilities they need, and at the same time there will be further investment in the infrastructure of the area to introduce superfast broadband. New businesses moving into the area will also be able to claim Business Rate discounts of up to £275,000.

For more information about the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone please visit: To find out more about the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership please visit




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