Today marks the start of a new era for Blackpool business when the town’s first Enterprise Zone ,at Blackpool Airport, goes live.
The new Government-backed initiative is providing Enterprise Zone status to the Blackpool Airport site which will help transform the area into a key employment site with the potential to support up to nearly 140 new businesses and up to 3,000 new jobs, over the next 25 years.
And the opening day has been marked with immediate success as a new company moves to the site.
Force Technology was today being officially welcomed as the first new private business moving in by Coun Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Development along with representatives from Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company.
Force Technology specialises in the development and innovation of high precision spring applications for the automotive, transport and shipping industry.
It will initially be based within Lightworks, Blackpool Council’s Illuminations depot, whilst a bespoke facility is developed for the company within the Enterprise Zone.
The Airport has already been boosted by the announcement of Blackpool and The Fylde College to build a Lancashire Energy Headquarters on the site, with work now having commenced on construction.
Along with a sister Enterprise Zone at Hillhouse International Business Park near Thornton, it will be overseen by the Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre Economic Development Company on behalf of the local authorities and Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.
Both sites will provide further opportunities for local businesses to develop.
Among the benefits potentially on offer to incoming businesses are business rate relief, up to a maximum of £275,000 over a five year period for new businesses locating before May 2023. This is subject to certain qualifying criteria.
Businesses can also benefit from Enhanced Capital Allowances for investment in fixed plant and machinery for businesses who take occupation by March 2023.
Coun Mark Smith said: “The opening of the Enterprise Zone is fantastic news and is a key part of Blackpool Council’s vision for jobs and growth in Squires Gate.
“With the Zone now live we will be looking to push forward with plans that will help to create up to 3,000 jobs for the local area – from manufacturing to office jobs.”