Capital allowances added to Enterprise Zones

AUTUMN STATEMENT: Capital allowances will be made available in six of England’s new enterprise zones.

The 100% capital allowances will be made available in the Black Country, Humber, Liverpool, North Eastern, Sheffield and Tees Valley EZs.

Along with backing plans to extend the Northern Line into Battersea, the government will also consider turning Nine Elms into an EZ linked to the redevelopment of the Battersea Power Station.

Subject to due diligence, the existing EZ in the North East will be expanded to include the Port of Blyth.

And the government intends to approve the proposals from the Lancashire and Humber local enterprise partnerships to form EZs on BAE Systems’ sites in the these areas.

The Regional Growth Fund in England will also be given an extra £70m in 2012/13, £400m in 2013/14 and £720m in 2014/15. The RGF has already allocated £1.4bn to 169 projects.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “This is a positive development and should increase the attractiveness of those EZs.

“However, many EZs are currently empty plots of land and new buildings need to be developed before any businesses can move in.

“As things stand the enterprise zone offer is unlikely to convince developers to build them up, scuppering the EZs’ chances of success. One way of attracting developers in such cases would be to allow them to claim capital allowances on development costs.”