A multi-million pound business and innovation Enterprise Zone in Brierley Hill has been given the green light and is set to bring in thousands of new jobs to the region.

Dudley Council bosses today welcomed Communities Secretary Rt Hon Sajid Javid the Midlands Engine ministerial champion to give the go-ahead to the Enterprise Zone agreed as part of the government’s commitment to making the Midlands Engine tangible.

Dudley Council bosses, in partnership with the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and West Midlands Combined Authority will run the new Enterprise Zone, which will be located in the heart of Dudley borough’s strategic centre at Brierley Hill, close to the Merry Hill shopping centre.

The zone, which has today been named ‘DY5 – Dudley’s Business and Innovation Enterprise Zone’ aims to become the high tech office hub of the Black Countries industry connecting advanced manufacturing to industrial sites via a new Metro link to Birmingham.

It will look at how the manufacturing and technology in the region can help deliver new business, as well as broaden the region’s digital and professional base into existing manufacturing technology.

The zone has been awarded because of the significant amount of vacant office space at the Waterfront.  There is 18,000 m2 of low cost, high quality office space now available for rent with all of the incentives of an Enterprise Zone.

A key benefit for new and expanding businesses which locate to the zone will be business rate relief of up to £55,000 for five years.

It will also help to rejuvenate the Waterfront office complex at Merry Hill and create additional office, technology and industrial space in the surrounding areas of Brierley Hill, Harts Hill and Pensnett and is expected to deliver up to 7,000 new jobs and provide Gross Value Added uplift to the economy of £589million each year.

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said:

“We knew when we submitted our bid in July 2016 that we had a strong case to offer real potential and make a big difference in Brierley Hill, an area which has strategic significance for the borough and beyond.  

“We know the area is already set to have a significant boost when the Metro extension rolls in, but now we have the green light for DY5, it will significantly strengthen our economy, increase the number of jobs in the area and boost our reputation as a place to do business.”

Tom Westley, Local Enterprise Partnership board member, said:

“The LEP is excited about the future and what the zone will bring to an area of the Borough which already has many great strengths but will benefit from this status.  As an organisation, we will be located within the Enterprise Zone and I would encourage new businesses and those that are looking to expand to come and join us and be part of this exciting opportunity.”

Councillor Pete Lowe, leader of the council, Black Country LEP board member and vice-chair of West Midlands Combined Authority, said:

“Our new Enterprise Zone will put Brierley Hill, the borough and the wider region on the national and international map as a place to come and do business and thrive.  The zone will demonstrate our ingenuity and ability to breathe new life into businesses and support our ethos – Made in the Black Country, sold around the world.”

July 2016, council bosses and the LEP submitted a revised business case to the government with an expanded area covering 70 hectares including the vacant Waterfront office complex at Brierley Hill and industrial land at Pensnett and Blackbrook industrial estates.

As well as reoccupying 18,000 m2 of vacant office space on the Waterfront, the zone when fully built out will include up to, 110,000 m2 of new office space, 36,000 m2 of new technology space and 65,000 m2 of new industrial space.

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