Blackpool’s enterprise zone is continuing to soar with the start of a new £5m plan to build up to 50 industrial units.
The first phase has begun of a 3.6 acre development which will see scores of jobs created at the Squires Gate site.
It is the first new building development at the site, apart for the energy college, for many years and has come just nine months after the official launch of the zone.
It will see 12 new units built this year off Amy Johnson Way using private money, with businesses already lining up to take up residence.
And it builds on rapid work already taking place at the business park which has seen half built warehouse buildings completed, new offices built on existing developments and a series of businesses moving to the zone in already available space.
Enterprise Court is 100% private sector funded and no public money is being used for the development which will see 12 more units built and the possibility of a third tranche depending on demand.
Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Economic Development, Coun Mark Smith said: “Activity on the enterprise zone is really starting to ramp up and 2017 should prove to be a really exciting year to invest in Blackpool.
“It is fantastic to see this new investment start with the potential for 50 units on this site alone, generating further investment and employment.
“There is potential for much more development and this is just a small section of the enterprise zone.”
Rob Green, Head of Enterprise at Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company said: “I am delighted to see this new construction activity on the enterprise zone. We have seen quite a transformation in the first year of the project from a site which was pretty stagnant. There’s an awful lot of work still to do but we are well on our way with the plans to create 3,000 plus jobs on the site.”
The enterprise zone is also set to be a centre of excellence for the energy sector, hosting the flagship Lancashire Energy HQ, by Blackpool and The Fylde College backed by £6.2m of Growth Deal funding.
The Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone is a 144 hectare site incorporating the existing Category III Airport and surrounding commercial areas. It has the potential to attract up to 140 new businesses and 3,000 high-tech jobs, over the next 25 years and this means for owner/occupiers of the new Enterprise Court units, subject to qualifying criteria, that they will benefit from business rate exemption up to £275,000 over a five year period, or generous enhanced capital allowances to businesses making large investments in plant and machinery.
Developer Robert Pinkus said enterprise zone status had helped give impetus to the area.
He said: “This is the first phase of 12 starter units with another 12 to follow. We have already had enquires, one is under offer and we have also had enquiries about the possibility of larger units elsewhere on the enterprise zone site.” Danny Pinkus added: “These new flexible multi-use units provide both attractive accommodation for small and new businesses and also represent excellent buy-to- let investment opportunities.
“The level of interest in the new units has been very encouraging at such an early stage, and we are excited about marketing the new development.”