Cheshire sets out science stall with EZ bid

CHESHIRE and Warrington LEP is seeking enterprise zone status for a collection of science and tech-focused developments acrorss the county.

The LEP says its bid for the Cheshire Science Corridor – which emcompasses the Univerity of Cheshire’s Thornton Science Park, Sci-Tech Daresbury, the nuclear cluster at Birchwood, Warrington  and Alderley Park – will boost job creation and unlock £100m of investment.

Enterprise zone status allows landlord to offer prospective tenants a number of incentives to invest, including business rate discounts, capital allowances and superfast broadband.

The LEP said the bid is a “key element” in the Cheshire & Warrington sub-region’s submission to the government for devolved powers that would support the growth of its economy to more than double its current size by 2040, achieving a £50bn economy.

Christine Gaskell, chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said: “Cheshire and Warrington is home to a leading and nationally significant science sector. Its growth will not only support our ambitions outlined in our devolution growth bid to deliver a £50bn economy in the next 25 years, but will support the government’s Northern Powerhouse vision and the growth of the sector at national level.

“Our aim is to make Cheshire and Warrington the best place in the country to set up and grow a business and the enterprise zone will be a flagship of this initiative.”

Chris Doherty, site director at Alderley Science Park, part of Manchester Science Parks (MSP)said: “MSP welcomes the inclusion of the national life science centre at Alderley Park in the proposal. An enterprise zone will provide a great boost to the cluster of SMEs that are forming and locating at the site, employing the pool of scientists available and securing a long term future for the site.”