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Cheshire West and Chester Council Submits Investment Zone Expression Of Interest


A number of English councils being considered

Cheshire West and Chester Council is among a number of English councils being considered for new Investment Zones. All Mayoral Combined Authorities or Upper Tier Local Authorities in England have been invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) by today (14 October) to The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The Government anticipates setting up a specific number of Investment Zones across the country, where it can be demonstrated that they will have the greatest impact on growth and investment.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: "The Council has submitted our Investment Zone Expression of Interest today (14 October).

We have focused on the Ellesmere Port industrial area, which is of major national and international significance. Investment Zone status will create new opportunities to secure substantial additional funding to enable future growth. Investment Zones can include housing sites, but the Council has not included any housing in the submission - our focus is on commercial and employment sites.

The Investment Zone proposition builds on extensive collaboration and previous investment in this area of the borough, including several sites within the existing Enterprise Zone. It is a coherent established cluster with many high skilled jobs and future investment opportunities. We are keen to ensure that everyone benefits from these opportunities, with good jobs and fair wages.

Its role within transition to net zero and decarbonisation is also a fundamental reason for us putting this area forward. This also provides an opportunity to support wider regeneration, including for the town centre of Ellesmere Port and other associated infrastructure. Further details will be shared following a confirmation of an Investment Zone approval."

Owners of sites within the Ellesmere Port Industrial area that potentially meet the criteria have been contacted to provide site information to inform the Council’s Expression of Interest. This builds on positive relationships with the business community, where there is enthusiasm for a cohesive, interconnected Industrial Zone and acknowledgement of the opportunities that low carbon, genuinely inclusive growth presents.

The benefits of Investment Zone status are expected to include tax incentives, accelerated and streamlined processes such as Local Development Orders for Planning and retained business rate growth locally for local investment. The Council has made it clear that it will not compromise on health and safety, rights of workers or the environment with any relaxation of regulation proposed.

The Treasury’s factsheet on Investment Zones can be found here