Hillhouse Enterprise Zone Announced

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that Hillhouse Business Park in Thornton Cleveleys is set to become an Enterprise Zone.

£12 billion of funding has been pledged in the Spending Review for 26 new or extended Enterprise Zones across the country, which means Hillhouse will receive investment worth millions and government support to expand.

Councillor Peter Murphy, Cabinet member with responsibility for economic development at Wyre Council, said: "This is absolutely fantastic news for the borough and gives us a focus for attracting new businesses, reducing unemployment and driving forward growth.

"Wyre's mantra is that we are business friendly and we look at everything we do from the viewpoint of attracting enterprise. This is a massive incentive to invest in Wyre and could potentially create thousands of jobs.

"Working alongside Blackpool Airport and BAE Enterprise Zones we now have the chance to make the Fylde Coast as a whole a really great place for businesses to relocate and expand."

Hillhouse is located on the site of the former ICI manufacturing plant and is home to over 40 businesses including Victrex, AGC Chemicals, Addison Engineering and Vinnolit. 

Hillhouse landowner NPL Group's Chairman, Robert McFarlane, said: "We are delighted with the news which is vindication for the hard work put in to the bidding process by the Company and our partners Wyre Council and the LEP. 

"This provides a tremendous boost to our comprehensive investment plans for employment, technology and energy development at the site which have had to be throttled back until now, but which can now be accelerated and will show the strength of our ambition and commitment to this site, the wider area and the Nothern Powerhouse". 

As an Enterprise Zone, Hillhouse will seek to build on its chemical and polymer industries, as well as targeting firms within the wider energy and advanced manufacturing sectors, and will receive benefits including reduced business rates. 

The bid for Enterprise Zone status was supported by Wyre Council, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancashire County Council, NPL Estates and the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company.