Celebratory Launch for Dorset’s New Enterprise Zone
Posted on: 05/02/2018
Dorset’s business and political leaders have come together to celebrate the launch of the county’s new Enterprise Zone, Dorset Innovation Park.
Dorset Innovation Park near Wool is Dorset’s second largest strategic employment site and is an advanced engineering and manufacturing cluster of excellence for the South West, building on strengths in aerospace, marine, defence and energy technology.
The site is being recognised as a major focus for the economic regeneration of South Dorset. A vital stimulus for employment, it is expected to facilitate 2,000 new jobs and attract dozens of new businesses to the area by offering attractive Enterprise Zone benefits such as business rate reduction, simplified planning, and ultrafast broadband.
The site has been developed via a close working partnership between Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, Dorset County Council, and Purbeck District Council, to rejuvenate the previously stalled Dorset Green Technology Park and boost economic growth in the area.
The launch event also marked the completion of 20 new employment units which will be let to businesses on ‘easy in, easy out’ terms.
Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, said: “Dorset Innovation Park is an excellent example of private and public sector partnership working together to unlock vital employment land and deliver much-needed economic growth to the region. We know that Dorset already boasts a thriving and varied industrial community, but we now have the potential to increase our contribution to national productivity further. I am particularly pleased to see investment and support for job creation within rural South West Dorset and the development of something that plays extremely well to our sector strengths.“
Jim Stewart, Dorset LEP Director, said: “Dorset’s economy stands to benefit greatly from this new Enterprise Zone. Dorset Innovation Park presents an attractive offer for businesses wanting to relocate or expand and make the most of our impressive strengths in engineering, marine and defence. Dorset LEP and its partners are pleased to breathe life back into what was a stalled but significantly important rural employment site, and we are committed to realising its potential as a catalyst for growth and jobs.”
Councillor Cherry Brooks, Economy and Infrastructure Portfolio Holder, Purbeck District Council and Dorset County Councillor, said: “As a key employment site, the success of Dorset Innovation Park is vitally important to the district and county, so we are committed to its success. By working closely with Dorset LEP, we have already retained the commitment of current tenants ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK and QinetiQ, and are involved in positive discussions with potential investors. This launch is very timely as 2018 is the Year of Engineering, which focuses on inspiring the next generation to see engineering as an exciting and rewarding career.”
John Sutcliffe, Dorset LEP Board Member and Business Development Director for ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK, said: “The investment in Dorset Innovation Park is an exciting opportunity for the continued growth and sustainability of advanced engineering in Dorset. Winfrith is already a centre of excellence for innovation with good communication links and a very attractive work life balance, and this continued development will benefit both Dorset’s economy and its career opportunities. Dorset Innovation Park can give other likeminded companies the opportunity to experience the same international success as ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK.”
Enterprise Zones are part of the government’s long-term economic plan to support business and the creation of jobs by transferring the leadership of growth to local areas.
Dorset Innovation Park accommodates 50 hectares of land, of which 35 hectares can be developed. The site lies at the intersection of the burgeoning aerospace, marine, defence and energy technology clusters, and offers a secure facility and the presence of two world leaders in defence technology – ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK and QinetiQ.
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