Blackpool EZ hits 1,000 jobs milestone

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Blackpool Council has reported that the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone has generated more than 1,000 new jobs since launching in April 2016.

The project has attracted 55 new companies to the site, and brought in new investment for seven developments, two under construction and two in the planning phase.

Companies that have made long-term commitments to sustainable employment at the site include: Guest Services, which has doubled its workforce to 162 since moving to the site; ARC, which has built a 20,000 sq ft unit; and TM Legal Services, which moved 90 staff to the site in August 2018 and created 70 new openings with the expansion.

The total figures mark a major milestone in the council's ultimate goal of generating 5,000 jobs and bringing in £300m of private investment.

Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: "The jobs created are across a wide variety of the identified target sectors including advanced manufacturing and engineering, digital and creative, aviation and energy.

"The council’s ambitions for the Enterprise Zone is to create up to 5,000 long term, sustainable jobs over the remaining 23 year lifespan of the Enterprise Zone status, and although this is an excellent start, we have a long way to go and a lot more hard work to do to reach the site’s full potential.”

The jobs created are across a wide variety of the identified target sectors

Blackpool Council, as the EZ's accountable body, has allocated £28.8m for enabling infrastructure and to kick start development over the first three years. An outline planning application will be lodged on 25 March for a new eastern access gateway road that will unlock new development plots and ease congestion on the roads for the local community and existing business owners.

It will also enable the relocation and development of a new sports village for the area which will include 2 x 3G all-weather sports pitches, grass football pitches, changing facilities and a social club and local service retail.

A decision is expected in August and a full planning application for the sports village and the new access road will be submitted shortly after consent is approved. Interviews with prospective developers and consultants are currently underway with the Enterprise Zone team to enable the early progression of the construction stage of phase 1.