Enterprise Zone is taking off

More than 1,000 new jobs have now been generated at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone since it was established in April 2016.

Since that date the Enterprise Zone (EZ) has attracted new investment with seven new developments completed, two currently under construction and two further planning applications received

More than 200 commercial property enquiries have been received by the EZ team at Blackpool Council.

And new and growing businesses locating to the Enterprise Zone have so far benefited from £2.54m in business rates relief.

The overall ambition for the site is to attract £300m of private investment, generate up to 5,000 new jobs and provide new enabling infrastructure in the region of £70m.

The plan is also to build, convert or re-purpose 260,000 sq m of potential employment space.

The EZ’s latest jobs milestone has been welcomed by Blackpool council leader Simon Blackburn. He said: “More businesses are being attracted to the site because of the additional commercial benefits that the Enterprise Zone status brings.”

Companies that have contributed in creating long term sustainable employment opportunities include Guest Services.

The business has seen significant growth since moving into bigger premises on the EZ and has more doubled its workforce with a running total of 162 staff.

ARC has built a 20,000 sq ft bespoke unit, relocating 30 staff from Palmer Avenue and creating an extra 20 new positions with the move.

Charity Silver Line Helpline moved its centre of national operations to Blackpool in October 2016 creating 180 jobs for the area and the charity continues to grow.

And TM Legal Services moved 90 staff to the site in August 2018 and created 70 new openings with its expansion.

Blackpool Council as the EZ accountable body has allocated £28.8m for enabling infrastructure and to kick start development over the first three years.

An outline planning application has been lodged 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 one of the project.