New campaign to create Enterprise Zone to boost highly-skilled jobs in St Albans district

Plans are underway to create an Enterprise Zone which will include St Albans

Plans are underway to create an Enterprise Zone which will include St Albans - Credit: Archant

Thousands of highly-skilled jobs could be created locally as a result of an ambitious bid to create an Enterprise Zone in west Herts.

The zone could also attract hundreds of new businesses and help unlock key development sites.

Herts Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has joined forces with St St Albans district and Dacorum borough councils to submit the bid to the Government for an Enviro-Tech Enterprise Zone to bolster the economy in the rural west of the county

The bid concentrates on the LEP’s priority sectors for economic growth, with the emphasis on environmental technology.

If successful, the Enterprise Zone will help to support and develop the existing enviro-tech sector in west Herts, helping to attract more businesses to the area thanks to its strong national and international transport links.

The multi-site bid includes underused land and buildings at the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in Bricket Wood and Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, both part of a so-called Green Triangle of leading research institutes which includes the University of Herts..

The bid also takes in Maylands Business Park in Hemel Hempstead, and land in Dacorum Borough, west of Green Lane.

Most Read

In addition, it addresses potential economic development land near Buncefield, identified for major development in the St Albans draft planning blueprint, the Strategic Local Plan.

The projects have been developed in response to the Government’s invitation to LEPs across England to bid for new enterprise zones in partnership with local authorities.

The Departments for Communities and Local Government and Business will decide what schemes will get the go-ahead later this year.

Benefits for companies operating in Enterprise Zones can include discounted business rates as well as attracting business and creating jobs.

St Albans council leader, Julian Daly, said: “We are long-term champions of The Green Triangle’s aim to make the most of the green technology ‘know how’ of BRE, Rothamsted and the University Of Hertfordshire. An Enviro-Tech Enterprise Zone will help us advance the Green Triangle’s agenda.

“It can bring new firms and highly skilled jobs to the county which will be welcome.”