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SEMLEP board names its preferred Enterprise Zone


The bid will go to government on June 30. The proposal for Northampton Waterside will create 14,000 jobs and hundreds of new businesses in an area close to the town centre and along the river frontage in the town.
Enterprise Zones are one of the key tools that the Local Enterprise Partnership will have to support job growth and investment in the area. If the bid succeeds, the Northampton Waterside zone will encourage growth in key sectors that are important to SEMLEP such as high performance engineering.
The SEMLEP board considered a total of eight Enterprise Zone ideas, which has helped to identify strategic employment sites in the area that also need support to ensure that SEMLEP is driving economic growth.  
Two key proposals with links to high performance engineering have also been identified at Silverstone and Rockingham, as well as important sites in Luton and Bicester in Oxfordshire. The board will look at how these proposals can also be supported as part of its Business Plan development.
The SEMLEP board took into account the opportunity for enterprise and growth when selecting the Waterside option, as well as its potential to drive economic growth in the wider SEMLEP area.
Northampton sits at the heart of the high performance engineering sector with strong links to Silverstone and Rockingham and a number of important businesses such as Cosworth, Mercedes Benz, Mugen Motorsport and Ilmor Engineering
SEMLEP will be working closely with businesses, local authorities and other organisations to deliver the Enterprise Zone. There is strong support from partners across the area.
Brian Hibbert (pictured), chairman of Bedfordshire & Luton Chamber of Commerce and of the interim SEMLEP board, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for SEMLEP to put forward a strong bid to the national competitive process. The Northampton proposal will bring benefits locally, to SEMLEP and to UK plc."
Northampton Borough Council leader Cllr David Palethorpe added: "Northampton has a proven track record for growth and enterprise and this Enterprise Zone initiative is the stimulus we need to create thousands of new jobs bringing prosperity to our town and the wider SEMLEP area.
“We appreciate the support shown to our bid by the Board and will continue to work within the partnership of SEMLEP."