Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone goes live

The new Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone officially goes live today (Friday 1st April 2016), creating a dynamic network of sites for businesses to locate and grow.

The Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone creates a unique opportunity to expand the reach of Cambridge – global innovation centre – to the surrounding market towns, new communities and wider rural areas to boost the local and national economy. It includes sites in Ely, Waterbeach, Cambourne, Haverhill and Northstowe.

This new Enterprise Zone status brings with it a number of benefits, including a business rate discount of up to 100% for five years for businesses moving into part of the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone as of today. It was secured by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP in the Autumn Statement.

As a bonus, the local area will retain 100% of the business rate growth within the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone for the next 25 years, which will enable further investment in economic growth across the area.

Mark Reeve, Chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said:
“Securing Enterprise Zone status for the Cambridge Compass was a real boost for the local economy, and now we can start to attract new businesses to move into these sites. By drawing these sites together under the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone, we can provide a unique proposition to local, national and international companies looking for a new place to locate their businesses, drawing out the benefits of Cambridge to the surrounding area. We know that there are a number of companies very close to signed deals on sites and premises within the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone, and we look forward to making further announcements very soon.”

The sites included within the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone are as follows:

  • Lancaster Way, Ely – Located north of Cambridge on the A10 growth corridor and main train line to Cambridge and London, Lancaster Way has outline consent to construct up to 125,000 sq m of additional office, R&D, industrial or warehouse and distribution accommodation to suit occupier’s requirements
  • Cambourne Business Park – Located to the west of Cambridge, Cambourne Business Park provides a unique opportunity for a new business environment within a growing new settlement where homes and jobs are co-located
  • Cambridge Research Park, Waterbeach – Located close to Cambridge, this site offers 9 hectares of serviced employment land
  • Haverhill Research Park – Situated to the south east of Cambridge on the A1307, Haverhill Research Park offers 37,000 sq m of commercial space
  • Northstowe, Phase 1 – Conveniently located close to Cambridge off the A14 and on the Guided Busway, this development is the first phase of employment land within Northstowe (which will be the largest new town to be built since Milton Keynes

Harvey Bibby, Marketing and Development Director for Grovemere Property, the developer of Lancaster Way Business Park, commented:

“Our strategy at Lancaster Way is completely aligned with the objectives of the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone. We specialise in supporting the rapid growth of businesses by offering them high quality space just 12 miles from Cambridge, but typically at around half the cost of comparable space in the city. Growth is also supported by our fast-growing talent pool, plus good infrastructure that’s set to improve significantly with the opening of the new Cambridge North station next year.”

Matthew Sampson, Senior Development Manager at U+I Group Plc, said:
“This is a great result for us at Cambourne Business Park, and will no doubt give a significant shot in the arm for all the outer Cambridge EZ locations. It will provide added incentive for tenants, and employees, to look again at the wider Cambridgeshire area which benefits from strong connections to the city centre and provides the value and environmental offer that is harder to find in the supply constrained inner city locations. At Cambourne we are looking forward to working with the Cambridge Compass team to attract new businesses to the park, with a focus on start-ups and amenity providers, to complement existing tenants, and create a modern ‘live-work-play’ enterprise environment.”

Jo Mills, Director of Planning and New Communities at South Cambridgeshire District Council, said:
“The Enterprise Zones are excellent news for the local economy and will help draw even more employment to existing and new communities. Making sure jobs are attracted to new developments is really important so people have a choice to work near to where they live. The Enterprise Zones will also help stimulate other local services and create a thriving community to benefit new and existing residents of neighbouring villages.”

Richard Bains, Fund Manager of Rockspring Property Investment Managers’ UK Value 2 Fund which owns Cambridge Research Park, commented:
“We are delighted that CRP has been included within the new EZ designation. This is a further benefit to the park and will allow us to attract more leading occupiers and push forward with further phases of development.”

Nic Rumsey, Director of Jaynic, says: “Already one of the most sustainable Parks in the South Cambridge Cluster, in terms of facilities, we are delighted to be able to distinguish ourselves further with Enterprise Zone status. Being an EZ will only benefit our on-going discussions with occupiers. Added to the strong infrastructure benefits of Haverhill including a further 3500 houses coming on stream in the town soon, HRP becomes a compelling choice,” adds Rumsey.

Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “Promoting economic growth is at the heart of everything we do at St Edmundsbury and the Enterprise Zones offer an invaluable set of incentives to help businesses relocate, prosper and grow here in this wonderful part of West Suffolk.
“Enterprise Zones are about creating more local jobs, increasing and diversifying the local skills base, and overall increasing the wealth and prosperity of our residents.
“I am aware that there have already been enquiries and I can’t wait to greet the first businesses to our Enterprise Zones.”

Andy Lawson, Projects Director at Gallagher Estates, said:
“We are pleased that Northstowe has been included in the EZ as this will help to grow the economy of the new town alongside the first new homes that will be available early next year”.
The Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone has officially come into effect as of today (1st April 2016), with the 100% business rates discount on offer to new occupiers until 31st March 2022.

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