On Wednesday the LEP had its regular board meeting. This time it was held in the board room of Unisurge International Ltd (Farboud Innovation Park, Formula Drive, Newmarket, CB8 0BF). Unisurge is another fine example of thriving business in our local area.
We reviewed how we are to spend a recent grant of £15m from central government for infrastructure projects. This has been quite a test as part of the deal is that the projects need to be completed within a year. We have chosen projects that have already been evaluated and have a high degree of deliverability.
We are all very excited about the Enterprise Zone at Alconbury. It has the benefit of allowing the LEP to retain business rates generated from the site for 25 years which can be used anywhere in the LEP area.
Secondly, the individual businesses benefit from paying no business rates, instead this is made up by central government. The challenge for the Enterprise Zone Steering group, of which I am a member, is to ensure that companies don’t just relocated from somewhere locally to avoid the business rates. We are working very hard with the developers and district council to ensure this does not happen. This is a very obvious trap that we are keen to avoid.