Government to pilot ‘manufacturing zones’ in East Midlands

As part of its commitment to the Midlands Engine, the government announced in its Budget yesterday that it will pilot a manufacturing zones scheme in the East Midlands.

This, the Chancellor said, will reduce planning restrictions to allow land to be used more productively, providing certainty for business investment, and boosting local productivity and growth.

However, the government says it will spend only £500,000 on the project.

Meanwhile, children in the East Midlands will become the first to benefit from 5G testbeds and trials. The government says it will invest a further £160m from the NPIF in new 5G infrastructure.

The government is launching a new £190m Challenge Fund that local areas around the country that will encourage faster rollout of full-fibre networks by industry. Children in 100 schools around the country will be some of the first to benefit, starting with a pilot in the East Midlands in early 2018.