Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone opens for business!

The Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone is now open for business. The Enterprise Zone will provide business rate relief for new and growing businesses, worth up to £55,000 per business year on year, for up to 5 years.

At 9am on Monday 3rd April, the Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone opened for business.  The Enterprise Zone will provide business rate relief for new and growing businesses, worth up to £55,000 per business year on year, for up to 5 years.  This will mean new business growth, new investment, new opportunities for local business and new jobs for local people.

Building on our existing success and vision, the Enterprise Zone will also offer a range of incentives to attract and support businesses to the area.   These include simplified planning, business support and investment in key infrastructure. The status of an Enterprise Zone will be in place for 25 years.

The Enterprise Zone designation covers four sites in East Devon.  These are: Exeter Science Park, Skypark, Cranbrook town centre and Exeter Airport Business Park.  The four sites are close to Exeter and have a diverse offer located just off Junction 29 of the M5, close to Exeter International Airport - just an hour from London by air, and two and a half hours by train or one hour away from Bristol airport by train or car.

Business rates generated from within the zone will be reinvested locally in Devon to further support increased productivity and economic growth, with projects being managed by East Devon District Council and Devon County Council with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.  This will help to ensure its success, working alongside partners such as Exeter Science Park Company, St Modwens, Exeter International Airport and the Cranbrook Consortium.

Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council said:

We are delighted to see the Enterprise Zone become a reality and we look forward to welcoming businesses and investors to the area. At the same time we will be reinvesting funds here in future local growth initiatives.

The Enterprise Zone underpins our commitment to business growth in Exeter and East Devon, and will help to realise our vision of providing local people with access to a range of new employment opportunities alongside the delivery of new homes.

Keri Denton, Devon County Council’s Head of Economy and Enterprise, said:

Establishing an Enterprise Zone across these four sites is a great step forward and will support new jobs and businesses into the county. As landowner of Skypark and part of the Science Park we are pleased to be working in partnership with East Devon District Council, Exeter Science Park Company, St Modwen and the Heart of the South West LEP to accelerate the development of these sites and support wider economic growth across the region.

Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley CBE DL said:

I’m delighted that the Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone is open for business, as part of the package of sites available across the area. The Heart of the South West offers multi-site enterprise zones at Exeter East Devon, Oceansgate in Plymouth and Huntspill in Somerset, with opportunities for businesses in all sectors, creating better opportunities for growth.

Dr Sally Basker, Chief Executive Officer, Exeter Science Park said:

The Enterprise Zone is a game-changer for organisations wanting to become part of our vibrant community at Exeter Science Park. It helps SMEs to pump-prime further growth, gives companies incentives wanting to relocate to improve quality of life and smooths the planning process for those wanting to develop their own buildings. I’m excited to learn how we can help science and technology companies to achieve their ambitions.

Ian Guy, Senior Development Manager for St. Modwen's Skypark - home to ASCO West, the Eon Energy Centre and distribution firm, DPD, said:

The Enterprise Zone is great news for our £210 million development at Skypark, which we are developing across the next 20 years in partnership with Devon County Council, to provide over 1 million sq ft of industrial and office space and a potential for up to 6,500 jobs.  It will strengthen our commercial offer on-site and attract more inward investment and business occupiers to the area in the long term.

The Enterprise Zone incorporates land recently allocated in the Local Plan for a major extension to Exeter Airport Business Park. This provides a 19 acre site next to Exeter Airport on Long Lane, which will be developed to support the creation of new jobs. 

John Spooner, Managing Director, the landowner, AD Land, said:

We are delighted that the new Enterprise Zone has been established and believe it will prove highly influential in attracting new businesses to our new development site -  which we will shortly be bringing to the market. The simplification of the planning process and other EZ support mechanisms, when in place, will be particularly helpful to businesses needing new premises including light and general industrial buildings, warehousing and offices. This is a very exciting time to be involved in the attraction of new investment to East Devon.

The Exeter & East Devon Enterprise Zone is part of the Heart of the South West Enterprise Zone which consists of five sites (one at Huntspill Energy Park in Somerset and four in Exeter and East Devon: Exeter Science Park, Skypark, Cranbrook and Exeter Airport), which was announced in 2015. Across these sites, the zone has the potential to deliver 22,000 jobs and generate £360million in business rates which will be re-invested locally. It is one of the 48 Enterprise Zones in England.

For more information, businesses are invited to contact: Naomi Harnett, Enterprise Zone Programme Manager, email enterprisezone@eastdevon.gov.uk or see visit eastdevon.gov.uk/enterprisezone