Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership led a partnership team to bid successfully for the zone. This includes Hertfordshire County Council, St Albans City and District Council and Dacorum Borough Council. The Zone will help to attract new green technology businesses and investment to the area with a focus on enviro-tech.
A range of Government incentives are available to attract private sector investment to the zone including business rate relief and superfast broadband.
Local Growth Minister Andrew Percy said: “Our modern Industrial Strategy is about creating the right environment for businesses to grow. The 12 new Enterprise Zones will help make sure this happens across the country.
“The Hertfordshire Enviro-Tech Enterprise Zone will create a world-class hub for businesses developing technology for a greener future. The zone is a key part of our Plan for Britain to create a stronger economy.”
The major sites within the Zone are adjacent to each other at Maylands Business Park, to the east of the New Town of Hemel Hempstead and close to Junction 8 of the M1. These sites cover just over 78 ha in total. Two additional areas are at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) near Watford and Rothamsted Research, in Harpenden.
The zone will build on the world class expertise of its industry partners: Rothamsted Research, known globally for its work in agricultural science; and BRE, a world leader in the built environment. It will also benefit from the research and development and teaching excellence of the University of Hertfordshire.
In line with Hertfordshire LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan the zone aims:
• To make a major contribution to the nation’s economic growth;
• To develop green technology enterprise in the area;
• To attract and retain skills and talent in environmental research and its applications;
• To attract international private sector inward investment;
• To provide infrastructure linking green research, science, engineering and technology enterprises;
• To assist the growth of new businesses associated with green enterprise;
• To attract mainstream industries that contribute to the development of enviro-tech solutions and support the sustainability agenda.
Business rate relief is available to all businesses locating onto the zone between April 2017 and March 2022. There are three tiers of relief. Businesses involved with environmental technologies such as sustainable construction, agri-tech, low carbon technology and renewable energy are eligible to receive up to £55,000 per year. This is available up to the maximum discount of £275,000 for the five year period.
Enviro-tech supply and value chain businesses may also qualify for up to £50,000 rate relief per year. Those in the third tier, non enviro-tech businesses who can demonstrate their ‘green’ credentials, may be eligible for up to £40,000 rate relief.
A full list of the type of businesses that can apply for rate relief will shortly be available to view on the Hertfordshire Enviro-Tech Enterprise Zone website.
Other incentives include Government support to ensure that superfast broadband is rolled out throughout the zone. Pre-planning support and technical advice on sustainable designs and construction will be available.
Mark Bretton, Chair of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the Enterprise Zone Board, said: “A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes since we were awarded Enterprise Zone status to ensure that we reach this exciting stage. In that 16 month period we have undergone an extensive planning phase and signed a Memorandum of Understanding which demonstrates the partnership’s commitment to the Zone.
“The LEP has successfully submitted a joint bid for a vital energy study which will further strengthen the zone’s green credentials by supporting our transition to a low carbon future.
“Construction is due to start in Hemel over the next 18 months. We anticipate the first major sites to be open for business early 2019 with vital incubation space expected to become available for green entrepreneurs as early as this year.”
Cllr Andrew Williams, Leader of Dacorum Borough Council, said: “The Hertfordshire Enterprise Zone will make a significant contribution to the cost of the transport improvements required to ensure that growth in the Maylands area, and the East of Hemel Hempstead generally, is sustainable in the medium- to long-term future. The Enterprise Zone will enable local economies to unlock key development sites, consolidate and provide infrastructure, attract business and create jobs.”
LEP Board Member, Councillor Julian Daly, who is also Leader of St Albans City and District Council and Chair of The Green Triangle, said: “The Enviro-Tech Zone will help attract new investment and businesses to this part of Hertfordshire, helping to boost employment and training opportunities. It will also build on the profile of our world leading organisations who work in this field.”
Businesses wishing to register their interest can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit www.hertsenterprisezone.com