Investment Zones is a ‘levelling-up’ plan announced by the Government in September 2022 and in the Spring Budget, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt identified 12 areas within the UK split across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The purpose of the scheme is:
- to bridge the gap between prosperous and lesser-developed communities.
- To maximise Research & Development investment and power productivity.
The program intends to support these zones in driving business investment through relief and tax incentives:
- Full stamp duty land relief on land and buildings bought for commercial or residential development
- 100% Business rate relief for newly occupied businesses or those that are expanding
- Enhanced capital allowances, offering 100% first-year deduction for plant and machinery expenditure
- Employer National Insurance Contribution relief for new employees
- Increased structures and buildings allowance
In order to be eligible, the zones are required to choose a location where a partnership can be formed between the local government and a research institute or University that infuses innovation.
Once successful, the Government grants the ‘zone’ access to £80 million in support to implement development acceleration by targeting five key sectors:
- Digital and Tech
- Green Industries
- Life Sciences
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Creative Industries
In addition, the funds can be utilized to attract investment and growth in:
- Research and Innovation by funding projects through Research and Development grants, loans, and subsidies
- Skills, creating apprenticeship opportunities
- Infrastructure, creating more job opportunities through commercial developments
- Local enterprise and business support, providing support for business startups and SMEs
- Planning and development, funding the recruitment of planning teams to build complex or large-scale developments
The scheme is set to roll out over the next two years.
At Pierce, we have a team of experts should you require any advice in relation to tax, Research and Development, or Business Startups. Contact us today on 01254 688100.