7,000 jobs boost is enterprising

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Luton has been successful in its bid for an Enterprise Zone, one of just 26 unveiled in the Chancellor’s Spending Review.

The new Luton Airport Enterprise Zone, around 395 acres in size, will consist of three linked sites surrounding Luton Airport: Stirling Park, Century Park and Airport Business Park.

South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), with Luton Borough Council, submitted its application to government in September and today’s success looks set to create over 7,200 direct jobs. Additional jobs are set to be created at the airport itself as a result of expansion and SEMLEP and LBC estimate that the total number of jobs created will therefore exceed 10,000.

Dr Ann Limb, Chair of SEMLEP, said: “We are delighted with this announcement which will bring to Luton significant investment and growth. Luton Airport is the fastest growing airport serving London and represents and supports an important part of the aerospace industry in the UK.

“Securing an Enterprise Zone means businesses will benefit from simplified planning rules, funding for superfast broadband and up to 100% business rate discounts. This is superb news for both Luton and the wider South East Midlands area.”

Cllr Sian Timoney, Portfolio Holder for transformation and regeneration and former SEMLEP board director, said: “This is fantastic news for the town and really brings to life our investment framework which sets out how we will drive improvements to prosperity, health and wellbeing through economic growth over the next 20 years.

“With the planned expansion and record passenger numbers, maximising opportunities through London Luton Airport is vital for the future success of the town. Confirmation of the Luton Airport Enterprise Zone, which will create thousands of jobs for local people, is a vital step for us in delivering on some of the investment framework ambitions, including job creation and becoming an innovation leader in technology and aviation.”

Enterprise Zones, launched three and half years ago, are designed to offer advantages to local businesses and boost the region’s economy.

There are three key landowners involved in the new Luton Airport Enterprise Zone: London Luton Airport Ltd; London Luton Airport Operations Ltd and Luton Borough Council. All three will be represented on the London Luton Airport Enterprise Zone Board, which is expected to launch next year. All will work in partnership with SEMLEP to actively support the delivery of the Enterprise Zone.