The Chancellor’s pledge to create an enterprise zone in Corby if the Conservatives win the General Election has split the constituency’s candidates.
Chancellor George Osborne made the pledge as part of a visit to Arnold Plastics in Northampton on Monday when he outlined how the first 100 days in office would pan out should Conservatives win the forthcoming election.
As part of this, he revealed that Corby would likely become an enterprise zone area.
By becoming one of a number of new enterprise zones, Mr Osborne said 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.
Mr Osborne said: “Our timetable for a stronger East Midlands sets out the steps we’ll take within the first 100 days of taking office to bring more jobs and investment to the East Midlands.
“We’re the only party that has a clear plan for the East Midlands, and the only party that is able to hit the ground running to create a brighter future for the East Midlands.”
Labour Parliamentary candidate for Corby and East Northamptonshire Andy Sawford said: “Two years ago I called for an enterprise zone for Corby but the Government refused to help.
“Now two weeks before an election the Tories have made this pretty desperate sounding announcement.
“I don’t think people will be fooled. What we really need is a Labour Government, working with a Labour MP and a Labour council to cut business rates, back local firms and continue the long-term regeneration of Corby.”
UKIP’s Parliamentary candidate for the area Margot Parker said: “It’s good to see that George Osborne has read our manifesto, as he seems to have adopted most of the measures in it.
“But his failure to adopt the rest of the our manifesto means voters will still get a better deal if they vote for UKIP.”
Liberal Democrat candidate for Corby and East Northants Peter Harris said: “I welcome all efforts, from whatever source, which lead to a more buoyant economy in Corby.
“I trust that this proposal will be carried forward whatever the political complexion of the government we end up with after May 7.”
The Tory candidate Tom Pursglove said: “Here in North Northamptonshire, we have a history of successful Enterprise Zones and the Chancellor’s commitment to a new one for Corby is extremely welcome news.
“The creation of a new enterprise zone in Corby would do much to help bring further jobs to our area, by attracting new investors to the town.
“Rather like the Rushden Lakes development at Skew Bridge, which is a major vote of investment confidence in our area, this would be another very positive step forward.”