Enterprise zone tax breaks to be extended

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A SERIES of tax breaks on offer to new firms which set up in Yorkshire’s ‘enterprise zones’ have been extended for a further three years.

Business leaders welcomed the Chancellor’s decision to extend the business rate discounts and enhanced capital allowances available in the flagship enterprise zones to 2018.

Announcing the measure, George Osborne insisted many of the 24 enterprise zones he created in 2011 are “now flourishing.”

However, the tiny cost of the extension – forecast by the Treasury to be just £5m-a-year – highlighted the relative lack of take-up within many of the zones across the country.

On current estimates by 2015 the 24 zones will have delivered just 11 per cent of the jobs estimated by the Treasury.

Yorkshire has four zones – one in the Aire Valley, another in South Yorkshire and two in the Humber area.

James Newman, chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said the extended tax breaks would make South Yorkshire “even more attractive to investors looking to bring their business and create new jobs”.

Lord Haskins, chair of the Humber LEP, said: “Keeping these incentives in place is an important signal of the Government’s continued confidence in the Humber to deliver, and recognition of the significant potential we have to attract businesses.”