New Investment Zone could create more than 2,500 jobs over five years

Jeremy Hunt

The Government has launched England’s third Investment Zone in West Yorkshire focused on Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds.

It aims to help create more than 2,500 jobs across the region over the next five years, and could unlock £220m in investment.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has also confirmed the wider Investment Zones programme in England will be extended from five to 10 years, with the envelope of Government funding and tax reliefs on offer now doubled to £160m.

West Yorkshire will host one of 12 Investment Zones across the UK. It is based around the region’s universities in Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield and the cluster of life sciences businesses in the area.

This includes the health tech company, Paxman Scalp Cooling, which supports patients to minimise hair loss during chemotherapy by manufacturing specialist hair caps.

It is investing £5m to bring its health tech products to global markets. Alongside it, the digital healthcare company Dedalus is investing £21m to deliver digital and diagnostic tools for the NHS.

Other businesses set to benefit from the investment zone include health tech companies like Leeds-based Eventum Orthopaedics, which works to improves patients’ experience of knee surgeries and is setting up five major orthopaedic hospitals in the UK.

As a result of the Investment Zone, revamped sites specialising in health tech and digital will open up around West Yorkshire.

They will benefit from tax incentives such as 100% Stamp Duty Land Tax relief, an enhanced structures and buildings allowance at a rate of 10% per annum, an enhanced 100% first-year capital allowance, employer National Insurance Contributions relief, and 100% business rates relief.

Hunt said: “We are changing our country for the long-term, driving economic growth across all corners of the UK.

“It will mean thousands more jobs in the exciting industries of the future backed up by better infrastructure, and communities to be proud of.”

The Chancellor launched West Yorkshire’s Investment Zone alongside West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin at Paxman Cooling, where they met executives and discussed future growth of the company.

Brabin said: “We know devolution is working for West Yorkshire and this new investment zone is further recognition of that from the Government.

Tracy Brabin

“Home to NHS England, our region’s digital and health tech businesses are driving forward innovation and transforming the lives of patients world-wide.

“This investment is a massive vote of confidence in our top-tier universities and talented graduates.”

The West Yorkshire Life Sciences Investment Zone will benefit from interventions which include skills training and business support to encourage more business investment.

The plan will boost innovation in the area’s healthcare sector and create a talent pipeline at the forefront of technological advances.

Richard Paxman, CEO of Paxman Scalp Cooling, said: “This news is incredibly exciting for the region and our health tech sector, and will only further attract investment in a sector that changes lives and makes a real impact commercially and socially.

“Paxman has invested significantly in the region over the past five years, attracting over £10m of foreign direct investment.

“Now, we are more committed than ever before in increasing our presence and investment in Huddersfield – providing further employment growth and delivering additional investment in research and development.”

Daryll Goodall, managing director UK and Ireland at Dedalus, said: “We are happy to be a key part of the West Yorkshire Investment Zone.

“As a global healthcare company, Dedalus work with local universities and hospital trusts in the West Yorkshire area to help bring new products from Europe to the UK healthcare market, and using our team in Leeds we develop products specifically for the UK.”