Protos will play a key role in accelerating growth and innovation as part of a new Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone (EZ). The new EZ – confirmed by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement – will link together the area’s best commercial developments and internationally significant research facilities.
Over 20 hectares of development land at Protos forms part of the new EZ, with the bid submitted by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in September 2015. In total, the EZ will seek to stimulate significant investment across 133 hectares of development land across the Science Corridor of Cheshire and Warrington.
Jane Gaston, Protos Development Director, said:
“The creation of this Enterprise Zone is a vote of confidence in Cheshire’s ability to deliver world-class development centred on science. We are proud that Protos will be a key driver for growth in this sector and will form part of the vision to create an internationally-recognised hub for skills and innovative industries.
“Construction is already underway at Protos to deliver key site infrastructure and a biomass facility at one of the first plots. We are now looking forward to working with the LEP to capitalise on Enterprise Zone status to fast-track investment into Cheshire.”
Securing EZ status will provide significant support with business rates; simplify the planning process at development sites; support the roll-out of super-fast broadband; and on the Protos site provide first year enhanced capital allowances for businesses investing in new plant and machinery.
The project is central part of the LEP’s plans to deliver a £50 billion economic boost into the area over the next 25 years. Stimulating such investment could underpin the Government’s Northern Powerhouse vision and see growth in key target sectors.
Sites included in the Cheshire Science Corridor EZ include Alderley Park, Birchwood in Warrington and a collection of sites across Ellesmere Port, including Hooton Park and the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park.
Jane Gaston added:
“Delivering forward-thinking development will take collaboration and we are already working with Thornton Science Park and a range of investment partners to create an energy and skills hub for the Northern Powerhouse. Creation of the Enterprise Zone will underpin the hard work that has gone into transforming this area into an energetic business corridor and we are excited to offer the benefits to ambitious occupiers and businesses looking to invest in Cheshire.”