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21 - Thousands of jobs in economic boost for Brierley Hill

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7,000 new jobs are on the way to Brierley Hill through a new business and innovation Enterprise Zone which is set to inject around £600million into the regional economy each year.

The Enterprise Zone will rejuvenate the Waterfront office complex at Merry Hill and create additional office, technology and industrial space in the surrounding areas in Brierley Hill and Pensnett.

Following the announcement in the Chancellor’s March budget statement Dudley Council bosses, with partners at the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, have today (FRI) submitted the final business case and anticipate this being formalised in the new Chancellor’s autumn statement in November. The Brierley Hill Business and Innovation Enterprise Zone, which goes under the strapline of ‘Made in the Black Country, sold around the world’, aims to become the High Tech Office hub of the Black Country’s advanced manufacturing heartland.

As well as reoccupying 18,000 m2 of vacant office space on the Waterfront, the Zone when fully built out will include up to 110,000 m2 of new office space, 36,000 m2 of new technology space and 65,000 m2 of new industrial space. The total development is expected to deliver up to 7,000 new jobs and provide a Gross Value Added uplift to the economy of £589million each year.

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said:

“The Enterprise Zone will put Brierley Hill on the national and international map as a location of choice for business and innovation with low cost and high quality office space complementing the regional expertise in advanced manufacturing.  The Zone will also look to the future to broaden its digital and professional base into the existing manufacturing technology.”

Councillor Pete Lowe, leader of the council, Black Country LEP board member and vice-chair of West Midlands Combined Authority, said:

“This is extremely exciting news for the Brierley Hill and the wider area. The Enterprise Zone will reinvigorate the existing Waterfront office complex with 100 per cent business rate discount for six years and it will also look to double the total office accommodation on offer through new builds as well as including currently vacant industrial sites to maximise the benefits on offer.”

Businesses locating to Enterprise Zones get up to 100 per cent business rate discount worth up to £330,000 per business over a six-year period. They also benefit from simplified local authority planning processes and get government support to ensure superfast broadband is rolled out throughout the zone.

Advanced Manufacturing strengths in the area include material manufacturing in iron, steel, plastic and rubber along with instrumentation, process control and technical equipment. The Enterprise Zone will aim to add to this with new industrial sites as well as providing office accommodation for business and professional services including architectural and engineering activities, software development, banking and telecoms.

To complement this, the Enterprise Zone will also feature Music Institute in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.  This will not only allow a diversification of the work force but also technical support for the music industry including light, sound and technical stage equipment.

News Release Contact Information

Chris Howes - 01384 815232 - chris.howes@dudley.gov.uk
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