Property experts gathered in Manchester last week to find out about the strengths of locating within Cheshire and Warrington and how the financial incentives offered by the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone could benefit their business and clients.

The Cheshire Science Corridor stretches across the Cheshire and Warrington sub-region and incorporates some of Britain’s most innovative and significant science based businesses including Urenco at Capenhurst; Daresbury Science Park; to AstraZeneca at Hurdsfield; and Jodrell Bank.

A portfolio of sites within the Cheshire Science Corridor have been granted Enterprise Zone status at Birchwood, Thornton Science Park, Alderley Park and across Ellesmere Port including at Protos and Hooton Park. The Enterprise Zone was launched in May 2016, and is expected to lever in approximately £100m of additional investment which will be reinvested in essential infrastructure to support business growth.

Financial incentives offered to businesses locating on the Enterprise Zone sites include providing significant help with business rates for science based and high growth companies and will allow new investors to benefit from enhanced capital allowances at sites in Ellesmere Port and at Thornton Science Park.

At the event, which was sponsored by Peel, representatives from a wide range of developers including Bilfinger GVA, BE Group, Lambert Smith Hampton, Peel Environmental, Langtree and Legat Owen, joined together with Enterprise Zone partners Cheshire and Warrington LEP, Cushman and Wakefield and representatives from Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington councils to promote how EZ status can offer a competitive advantage.

Heather Standidge, Associate Director at Cushman and Wakefield, who is working with Cheshire and Warrington LEP to deliver the Enterprise Zone, said: “This was a great opportunity to bring together a broad mix of property companies from across the North West to promote the incentives offered through the Enterprise Zone. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with businesses telling us that they came away with a clear understanding of the strength and breadth of opportunities not just within Enterprise Zone sites, but across the Cheshire Science Corridor as a whole. From a property perspective, it is clear that the financial incentives offered by EZ status provide a true competitive advantage to attracting new occupiers and supporting job creation and economic growth.”

Philip Cox, Chief Executive of Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said: “As the home to a leading and nationally significant science sector, the launch of the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone is an exciting opportunity for Cheshire and Warrington to drive further economic growth and for us to have the capacity to deliver the crucial infrastructure we need to support it.

“Our aim is to make Cheshire and Warrington the best place in the country to set up and grow a business and the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone is a flagship of this initiative, and it was great to have the opportunity to bring the property sector together to promote the benefits offered through the EZ.”

Jonathan Walsh, Head of Business Park Portfolio at PATRIZIA, said: “We’re building on some very strong fundamentals here, with global operations having already chosen Cheshire and Warrington as their home. The fact that all additional business rate revenue will be invested back into the local area for the next 25 years is an exciting prospect which will support enhanced economic growth. At Birchwood Park we are looking forward to working together with other EZ sites to collectively promote the Cheshire Science Corridor as a first class destination for business growth and innovation in the UK.”