Posted: 28/11/13 by Northamptonshire Chamber
Enterprise Zones such as the one in Northampton are pushing the UK ahead of global competitors after attracting even more overseas investment, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said today.
The announcement follows the latest investment, which comes from Swedish company Haldex, at the MIRA Technology Park Enterprise Zone in Leicestershire, creating jobs and growth for the local economy.
Mr Pickles said the cash injection signalled the ongoing resurgence of the UK automotive industry.
Five Enterprise Zones, including Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone, are firmly behind innovation in the UK’s automotive industry. They are part of the Government’s Automotive Industrial Strategy which aims to secure the long term future of the sector and grow the UK’s share of it, using research and development to stay at the cutting edge of change.
Northampton is growing into a centre for high-performance, automotive engineering and motor sports thanks to the close proximity to Formula One’s Silverstone Racetrack and the top Formula One teams, including Red Bull.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles said: “We are now focused on backing the industries of the future, growing the private sector and making Britain a great place to do business.
“When international companies like Haldex invest here it shows we have got our offer right. Every 20-seconds a car, van, bus or truck rolls off a UK production line and Enterprise Zones like MIRA Technology Park and Northampton Waterside are magnets for the global motor industry with the best international businesses choosing them as their home.
“This is just the beginning - Enterprise Zones are at the heart of our long-term economic plans. They are already making a big difference, attracting increased investment to the UK - half a billion pounds so far - and creating over 4,600 jobs in just a year and a half.”
Tim Bagshaw, Head of Investment at Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, said: “The automotive sector is an incredibly important one to the wider Northamptonshire economy. At the centre of the UK’s world-leading High Performance Technologies (HPT) cluster incorporating a unique and comprehensive industry supply chain, more than 800 HPT businesses based in Northamptonshire currently contribute £2.1 billion to the local economy each year. These companies specialise in the design and manufacture of innovative technologies, engines and products, drawing on the county’s historic legacy and expertise in motorsport.”
Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “With our proximity to many motorsport venues including Silverstone Circuit, Rockingham Motor Speedway and Santa Pod Raceway, it is no wonder that Northampton is fast becoming a centre of motor vehicle excellence.
“But we’re not just about motorsport. Companies in the town are at the cutting edge of the domestic car market, creating technology capable of exceeding the latest energy efficiency requirements.
“The borough council and its partners do all we can to ensure ambitious firms, both in supply chain and those producing end products, have every opportunity to flourish here.”
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