Government in ‘advanced’ discussions over East Midlands Investment Zones

Charnwood campus

The Government is in “advanced discussions with a host of East Midlands authorities over establishing low-tax Investment Zones in the region, it was revealed in the Chancellor’s Mini-Budget on Friday morning (September 23).

Kwasi Kwarteng’s “Growth Plan” document outlines that Derbyshire County Council, Leicestershire County Council, North East Lincolnshire County Council and Nottinghamshire County Council are speaking with the Government about plans to set up the economically liberalised areas, which would be led by investment into housing.

Charnwood Campus in Leicestershire has been named as a site that may have the potential to accelerate growth and deliver housing in the way the Investment Zone programme envisages.

The Chancellor said there were too many barriers for enterprise, and that he wanted to embrace the UK’s “unbounded entrepreneurial drive”.

Liberalised planning and tax regimes will be introduced in the Investment Zones, with a freeze on rates for businesses moving onto the sites, and no National Insurance on the first £50,000 a new employee earns. Stamp Duty will also be abolished on the purchase of land.

Kwarteng called the new regulations “unprecedented”, adding: “If we really wan to level up, then we have to unleash the power of the private sector.”

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