/ News / Greenlight for new enterprise zone at Hillhouse will create 1,750 new jobs

The Chancellor has announced that the Government has approved a bid by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for an additional Enterprise Zone (EZ) site at the Hillhouse Business Park on the Wyre coast.

The LEP forecasts that the EZ could potentially double the number of local jobs to 3,500 within the next ten to twenty years.

The 138 hectare site at Thornton-Cleveleys is already occupied by 40 companies, a number of which are world class, international businesses including Victrex, AGC Chemicals and Vinnolit. It is on the site of a former ICI manufacturing plant and has been a centre of advanced chemical manufacture since the 1950s.

Under the new proposals, the LEP and local partners plan to build on Hillhouse’s hi-tech chemical and polymer heritage, but will also target firms within the wider energy and advanced manufacturing sectors to complement Lancashire’s overarching Enterprise Zone strategy.

This includes forging links between the Energy Enterprise Zone approved this month for Blackpool Airport, and the Advanced Manufacturing and Aerospace EZ sites located at Samlesbury and Warton.

LEP Board member Graham Cowley said: “This decision is a significant boost to the local economy and Lancashire as a whole, helping to create thousands of new jobs and spur economic growth over the coming years.

“Lancashire is already a world-leader in the chemical and polymer industries and home to a number of first-class international firms, and the EZ at Hillhouse will help ensure we stay at the forefront in this area and also attract and support business in the wider energy and advanced manufacturing sectors.

“Hillhouse is a key part of the LEP’s ambitious and comprehensive multi-million pound strategic economic growth programme.

“The Hillhouse site complements Lancashire’s three existing enterprise zone sites which will combine to make a compelling Northern Powerhouse opportunity to potential industrial investors and occupiers. Lancashire is well-positioned to play an important role in driving the economic prosperity of the North through growth in well-established high-value, high-skilled sectors.”

Rob Green, of Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company, said: “We have seen good growth at Hillhouse over the past five years and there are prospects for growth in energy generation and for a world-class cluster of polymer companies.”

The LEP’s strategic economic growth programme aims to boost the local economy by £3bn by 2025, creating 50,000 jobs. The LEP will also support the delivery of the infrastructure needed to achieve this, including the building of 40,000 new homes.

Firms on the Hillhouse EZ site will benefit from a range of incentives and benefits including reduced business rates and improved collaboration between companies.

Wyre Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, NPL Estates and the Blackpool and Fylde Coast Economic Development Company supported the Hillhouse EZ application.

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