In order to further boost its investment appeal, the UK government has announced plans to inject more than £100m ($161.4m) into the country's enterprise zones. The extra cash allocation, announced mid-October by secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles, is intended to help with the completion of key infrastructure projects within the zones.

“We want to help them grow further and faster, and this extra £100m investment will ensure they have the infrastructure in place to successfully attract even more businesses and create many more local jobs,” Mr Pickles said on the day of the announcement. The funds will be allocated to the zones through a competitive bid, with each zone allowed to submit only one bid. The move will bring the total commitment of the UK government to its enterprise zones to almost £700m.


Mr Pickles aded: “The zones are showing progress, with more than 180 businesses, £500m of private sector investment and nearly 4000 jobs, and many more in the pipeline.” The enterprise zones were launched to attract cross-border investment outside English major cities. data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets shows that in the past five years, the UK has attracted more than 5300 foreign projects worth in excess of $78.3bn. However, some 34% of the projects and 29.4% of the money invested in the UK since 2008 has gone to London.

Currently there are 24 enterprise zones located across England, from Newquay in the south-west to Newcastle in the north-east. They provide a mix of financial, regulatory and logistical benefits, including 100% business rates relief (of up to £275,000 over a five-year period), lease holidays and simplified planning procedures.

Among the examples of the most successful enterprise zones, the UK's Department for Communities and Local Government highlights Oxford Science Vale, Sheffield City Region and Sci-Tech Daresbury among the flagship locations, and points to a new research and development facility constructed by Element Six, a Luxembourg-headquartered synthetic diamond firm, in the Science Vale in Oxfordshire and the automotive automotive research and development centre constructed by Bosch Engineering, a German automotive and tool manufacturer, in Mira Technology Park in Leicestershire.