Government announces 100 million boost for enterprise zones in a bid to increase job opportunities

Enterprise zones across England are to receive additional investment to the tune of 100 million, in a move which could create further job opportunities.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles claims the money will be used to fund projects such as road building and land clearance that will unlock previously idle areas.

The zones were set up in England 18 months ago and have already attracted 600 million in Government funding, creating 4,000 jobs and 180 new businesses in the process.

It is hoped that the latest cash injection will build on this progress and help to attract more businesses and produce further jobs.

"Enterprise zones are at the centre of our plans to back business, help local economies grow stronger and give the UK that competitive edge," said Mr Pickles.

"We want to help them grow further and faster and this extra 100 million investment will ensure they have the infrastructure in place to successfully attract even more businesses and create many more local jobs."

Enterprise zones, of which there are 24 in England, are helping to put the UK back on the map with foreign investors, ministers have suggested.

They are steadily attracting significant international businesses as well as enhancing world class centres of excellence, while creating new jobs in key sectors like automotive, aerospace and offshore wind.

Lockheed Martin and Jaguar Land Rover are just a couple of the major firms to have invested in the UK over the past year and a half following the creation of the zones.

Other key foreign investors include synthetic diamond firm Element Six, opening a new 20 million research and development centre at Science Vale enterprise zone in Oxfordshire, and LICenergy, a subsidiary of a leading Danish offshore and marine engineering company, which has joined the Bristol enterprise zone.

Elsewhere, a Chinese developer is set to invest 1 billion to create a state-of-the-art business district in the London Royal Docks zone, creating an estimated 20,000 jobs in the process.

Copyright Press Association 2013