Enviro-Tech Zone to be created in West Herts

One of the new buildings at Rothamsted research

One of the new buildings at Rothamsted research - Credit: Archant

A warm welcome has greeted news in the Autumn Statement that West Herts is one of 18 new Enviro-Tech Enterprise Zones to be created.

Chancellor George Osborne announced that the joint bid of St Albans, Dacorum, and the Herts Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for a new enterprise zone had been successful.

The zone covers seven sites and is focused on the environmental-tech industry. The aim is to develop a ‘Green Triangle’ bounded by the British Research Establishment in Bricket Wood, Rothamsted Research in Harpenden and the University of Herts.

St Albans MP Anne Main described it as ‘great news’ for the district and neighbouring Dacorum and said she had been fully behind the bid.

She went on: “In St Albans we have cutting-edge technology companies, a highly-skilled workforce and top quality research facilities. What we had on offer was vital to winning the bid, which I am told was very competitive.

“We can build on our success and potential for growth with this type of recognition. What I was arguing back in September was that the green and sustainable economy that we want, can be delivered if we’re given the backing.”

She added: “I pay tribute to the work of the LEP and both councils in their success. This goes some way to making the most of the “Green Triangle”, and supports its aim of bringing in new firms and more highly-skilled jobs to the area.’

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The multi-site bid also covers Maylands Business Park in Hemel Hempstead and land in Dacorum Borough, west of Green Lane, both of which are close to the M1 motorway.

The enterprise zone benefits firms by offering business rates discounts, enhanced capital allowances, simplified local planning and if necessary, government funding.