News - 01 September 2014

New Road Boost for Enterprise Zone Plans

NOTTINGHAM’S Enterprise Zone has taken a step forward in its quest to see new development coming out of the ground.

The zone was revealed in 2011 in a fanfare of publicity by Prime Minister David Cameron as part of a push to kickstart growth during recession.

Centred on surplus land at the Boots site in Beeston, it was hailed as a chance to create thousands of jobs by encouraging new businesses operating in the same sectors as the health and beauty giant to set up alongside it.

While an incubator for fledgling businesses has since been set up in an old Boots building, no new development has so far taken place.

But that looks likely to change in the months ahead after Boots lodged a planning application which paves the way for a new road which would make it easier to access the surplus land.

The road will connect Thane Road with Humber Road South.

The application – which has been lodged with both Nottingham City Council and Broxtowe Borough Council – also seeks outline approval for part of the site to be used for new housing development.

Mark Chivers, Enterprise Zone director at Alliance Boots, said: “While we remain committed to Nottingham and our site at Beeston, which we have occupied since 1927, we appreciate that it can sometimes feel quite isolated from the surrounding suburban areas.

“As part of our plans to develop the Nottingham Enterprise Zone, we hope to open up the site to become part of the city, so it integrates effectively with our surrounding communities and landscape, bringing forward a mixed use development.”

The application has been lodged two months after Mr Cameron voiced frustration about a lack of progress.

During a visit to the Post in June, Mr Cameron said: “Most of them [enterprise zones elsewhere in the country] are making progress but that one [Nottingham] seems to be a bit slower than some. It needs the Local Enterprise Partnership to get stuck in, get behind it, promote it a bit more.”

The site’s progress is being supervised by the local enterprise partnership for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, D2N2.

David Ralph, its chief executive, said: “This application is a clear sign of progress and an important milestone in the development of the zone.

“A lot of work and consultation has gone into preparing this planning application as it is essential infrastructure to open up the Enterprise Zone to attract inward investment and development.

“If we look at the Enterprise Zone as a 25-year project to redevelop the Boots site and achieve some long-term growth objectives then it is doing fine, in terms of progress. This new infrastructure will help accelerate this further.”

Source: Nottingham Post

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