Lincoln MP asks for Enterprise Zone status for city

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney is lobbying the government to grant Lincoln an Enterprise Zone.

The city MP asked the Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Anna Soubry MP, to consider granting Lincoln an Enterprise Zone.

Enterprise zones are part of the government’s long term economic plan to support business growth. 12 such areas have been created in the UK since 2012.

Businesses based in enterprise zone can get up to 100% business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per business over a five-year period.

Other benefits include simplified local authority planning to make it easier to get planning permission for certain industrial developments.

The government is also helping the superfast broadband rollout in these zones, with public funding if necessary.

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney

Karl McCartney’s question in the House of Commons followed Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Stephen Phillips QC’s own question on the effects in Lincolnshire of the government’s policies on small businesses.

Here is a transcript of the questions and answers in the House of Commons.

Stephen Phillips QC MP (Sleaford and North Hykeham): “What assessment he has made of the effects in Lincolnshire of the Government’s policies on small businesses.”

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Anna Soubry MP, Broxtowe): “…From 2010 until 2014, there was a 28,000 increase in the number of private sector businesses in the East Midlands and last week it was an absolute pleasure to meet representatives from LEPs right across the Midlands, including members from the LEPs in Lincolnshire and there was such enthusiasm to make the Midlands the engine that we want it to be replicating the Northern Powerhouse… Small businesses we know are at the heart of our long term economic plan.”

Stephen Phillips QC MP: “I’m grateful to my Rt. Hon. Friend for that answer. She’ll want to join me in welcoming the latest figures showing that employment in the North East, the North West and the East Midlands is all growing faster than in London. Will she ensure that this record of growth and prosperity outside of London continues, reflecting this Government’s One Nation approach?”

The Minister of State, Anna Soubry MP: “Can I just completely echo all the sentiments of the Hon. Gentleman, and absolutely agree with him. In fact between 2010 and 2014, 58% of net new jobs were created outside of London and the South East, whereas between 2004 and 2010 that was only 37% and, as I say, this is only further evidence of our long term economic plan working.”

Karl McCartney MP (City of Lincoln): “Considering the growth of business opportunities in our County, and particularly the City of Lincoln, does the Minister think we could build on the recently announced £130 million investment in the University of Lincoln, a chief component of the Midlands engine, and grant us Enterprise Status?”

The Minister of State, Anna Soubry MP: “I thank the Hon. Gentleman for his question, and I’m very happy to triumph Lincoln given it’s the City of my birth if I may say. In any event, I’m very happy to meet with him to talk about the future of the University and the real role it can play. As I’ve said before Mr. Speaker, forgive me for repeating it, I met all the representatives from the LEPs right across the Midlands, indeed we talked about Lincoln University and it’s real desire to create this Midland engine and rightly so.”