Could new enterprise zone benefit the district?

northampton waterside enterprise zone, August 2011, Chronicle & Echo
northampton waterside enterprise zone, August 2011, Chronicle & Echo
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A BUSINESS advisor and mentor in Grimscote near Towcester has said the Northampton Enterprise Zone announced last week will have widespread benefits for south Northants.

Last week the it was announced that the 120 hectare Waterside area of Northampton would become one of 11 enterprise zones across the UK.

It is hoped simplified planning rules, the introduction of super fast broadband and business rate discounts of up to £275,000 will bring in 400 new businesses and create 7,700 jobs over the next three years, and more than 17,000 by 2021.

Peter Kimble is a member of the South Northants Enterprise Board and until 2004 led the business advice service Business Link Northants.

He said: “This is wonderful news for everyone living in the vicinity. I see the Enterprise Zone as a home for major industries with the market towns providing valuable tiers of support services. It’s perhaps too early to make predictions, but I do not believe that the Zone will have a detrimental effect on the market towns.”

Mr Kimble said initially there will be jobs for construction workers and materials suppliers and services.

With the University of Northampton also planning and enterprise centre the zone will provide a place for graduates to start up businesses rather than them migrating to larger cities.

Mr Kimble added: “Again, this is good news for jobs and the wealth that is created. People in work spend money buying local goods and services, which opens opportunities for others; the knock-on effect is widespread.

“The benefit of the Enterprise zone will certainly be enjoyed by residents in South Northants.”