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UK Investment Zones

New hubs for investment and innovation across the UK.

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Investment Zones will be new hubs for investment and innovation across the UK that offer a favourable environment and exciting opportunities for your business to grow. Through choosing to invest in an Investment Zone, your business could have access to tax benefits, as well as support across planning, infrastructure, innovation and skills.

All Investment Zones will focus on supporting at least one of the following 5 priority sectors: advanced manufacturing, life sciences, green industries, digital and tech and creative industries.

Where will the Investment Zones be located?

The government has committed to establishing 13 Investment Zones across the UK. Eight areas in England have been identified to co-develop an Investment Zone proposal with government and two areas have been identified in both Scotland and Wales. There will also be an Investment Zone in Northern Ireland.

The 8 places in England are those covered by:

  • the proposed East Midlands Mayoral Combined County Authority
  • Greater Manchester Mayoral Combined Authority
  • Liverpool City Region Mayoral Combined Authority
  • the proposed North-East Mayoral Combined Authority
  • South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority
  • Tees Valley Mayoral Combined Authority
  • West Midlands Mayoral Combined Authority
  • West Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority

The Scottish and UK governments reached an agreement and jointly announced that there will be 2 Investment Zones in Scotland:

  • Glasgow City Region Regional Economic Partnership
  • North East of Scotland Regional Economic Partnership

The government can also confirm that there will be 2 Investment Zones in Wales:

  • Cardiff and Newport - delivered by the South East Wales Corporate Joint Committee
  • Wrexham and Flintshire- delivered by the North Wales Corporate Joint Committee

These areas have been selected due to their existing local strengths in key sectors, the presence of world-renowned research institutions to support the development of new technologies, and strong local leadership with a long-term plan for growth.

What is the Investment Zone model in England?

There are 4 key components to the Investment Zone model:

A defined economic area

Investment Zones will cover a defined economic area, where interventions will focus on facilitating the co-location of businesses and fostering collaboration between industry and research institutions.

Strong collaboration between industry and research institutions

At least one research institution from a priority sector, will support the development and delivery of each Investment Zone, creating unparalleled opportunities for your business to collaborate with leading cutting-edge research facilities in the local area.

Connecting business and the local community

Interventions will seek to strengthen the local labour market to provide the skills your business needs, ensure good connectivity between businesses and communities and provide support to enable spin-out and start-ups.

Strong local leadership

Mayors and local leaders with a vision for the area will work in partnership with business and innovation leaders within Investment Zones. They will also contribute resources and expertise, to support and maximise the impact of Investment Zones for local businesses and communities.

Your business could benefit from a range of support

Investment Zone areas will benefit from funding of £160m over 10 years, which could be on offer as a 10-year package of tax reliefs on designated sites and funding to attract investment.

You could benefit from a range of interventions, designed to attract investment and unlock barriers holding back growth in the area, including:

  • grants for research and innovation
  • skills bootcamps stimulating demand for apprenticeships
  • improvement of local infrastructure, such as, land remediation for labs or schemes to improve connectivity to improve access to the local labour market
  • local enterprise and business support, such as, sector-specific tailored support for start-ups and Small Medium Enterprises that leverages local research strengths and facilities
  • planning and development, such as, funding to recruit a dedicated planning team, implement a Local Development Order or support a development corporation to deliver complex or large-scale developments

Fiscal incentives

Where tax sites are created in Investment Zones, your business may benefit from the following fiscal incentives, which will be available on these sites for 10 years.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

A full SDLT relief for land and buildings bought for commercial use or development for commercial purposes.

Business Rates Retention

Specific Investment Zone sites will be able to benefit from 100% retention of business rates growth over an agreed baseline for 25 years.

Employer National Insurance Contributions Relief

Zero-rate employer national insurance contributions on salaries of any new employee working in the tax site for at least 60% of their time, on earnings up to £25,000 per year (for 36 months per employee).

Enhanced Capital Allowance

100% first year allowance for companies’ qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery assets for use in tax sites.

Enhanced Structures and Buildings Allowance

Accelerated relief to allow businesses to reduce their taxable profits by 10% of the cost of qualifying non-residential investment per year, relieving 100% of their cost of structures and buildings over 10 years.

Roadmap to investment

We expect the first Investment Zones to be fully operational and open for business from Spring 2024. Find out more about Investment Zones and the government policy offer.


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