Disappointment as Corby fails in bid to become an enterprise zone

The bid by Corby to become an enterprise zone has been unsuccessful
The bid by Corby to become an enterprise zone has been unsuccessful

A joint bid for an enterprise zone in Corby has been unsuccessful.

Enterprise zones are aimed at boosting the economy and employment opportunities in an area, and a joint bid by Corby Council, East Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) was submitted earlier this year.

However, Corby is not included on a list released today (Wednesday) with those who have been successful in their bid to become an enterprise zone.

Responding to the Government’s announcement today on enterprise zones, Corby Council leader Tom Beattie said: “Today’s decision by the Government not to support Corby’s bid for an enterprise zone is a big disappointment, particularly given the Chancellor’s pre-election promise of an enterprise zone for the borough.

“Although this is not the news that we wanted or expected to hear, we will continue to work hard to attract new investment into the borough.

“We already enjoy Assisted Area Status which is a great incentive for investors in Corby and we can offer rate reductions to those looking to locate.

“We have development sites available now across the borough and are working positively with partners to ensure Corby continues to be an attractive place to invest.

“Corby remains one of the fastest growing places in the country.

“Just this year we have shown no signs of sitting on our laurels as we exceeded targets set for the completion of overall new houses and affordable homes built in the borough.

“We have a highly improving town centre with the new cinema and restaurants recently opened and investment to infrastructure both on roads and rail that add to what Corby has to offer.

“It is clear that Corby is continuing to successfully regenerate through growth and we will do all we can to bring new jobs into the borough and to preserve existing ones.

“We are confident that we will succeed in our ambition to double the population by 2030 and we take real pride in our achievements to date.”

The news comes just seven months after the Chancellor George Osborne pledged to create an enterprise zone in Corby if the Conservatives won the General Election.

Speaking during a visit to the county in April, Mr Osborne said that it was likely Corby would become an enterprise zone area and by becoming one of a number of new enterprise zones, it would allow Corby to attract more central government funding for developments and would see businesses within the established zone faced with lower business rates.

If successful, the potential sites for the enterprise zone were all located around Rockingham Speedway, and each had been given a likely use of either manufacturing, offices or logistics.