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12/11/2014
Black Country Enterprise Zone driving forward growth

The Black Country Enterprise Zone is playing a vital role in driving forward the economy, creating thousands of jobs and building a centre for excellence for the automotive sector, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced. 

Figures released today (Wednesday 12 November) show the Government’s 24 enterprise zones have created 12,530 jobs, attracted 434 new businesses and generated over £2 billion worth of private investment since opening for business.

The Black Country Enterprise Zone is playing a vital part in that success story, creating more than 2,000 jobs. Home to world leaders including Jaguar Land Rover, Moog Aircraft Group, Eurofins and International Security Printers, the zone is building on the Black Country’s rich manufacturing heritage.
 
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: The Black Country Enterprise Zone is a world-class site and a Great British success story. It’s gone from strength to strength since it was granted enterprise zone status, attracting new businesses and creating more than 2,000 jobs. It’s proof that our enterprise zone programme is on track, creating thousands of jobs, attracting billions in investment and driving forward local economies.”
 
Stewart Towe, Chairman of the Black Country Local Enterprise partnership, said: "The recent opening by the Queen of the JLR Engine Manufacturing Centre and International Security Printers’ new building is a ringing endorsement of the i54 part of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership’s enterprise zone. The enterprise zone has been very successful in attracting advanced manufacturing companies which have created 2,000 skilled jobs.”
 
The Black Country Enterprise Zone is providing a real platform for modern manufacturing and automotive companies to thrive. Benefits include:

  • Automotive Centre: The zone is already a hub for automotive manufacturing. The automotive sector is the UK’s largest exporting sector by value and is a significant driver in rebalancing the economy towards trade and investment;
  • Careers of the Future: Bespoke educational activities, for schools in the Black Country, have been developed in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover and other automotive supply chain companies to give students in schools insight into a future career in engineering on the zone;
  • Jaguar Land Rover has built its new £500 million engine factory at the i54 business park on the enterprise zone. The factory will employ 1,400 people, from experienced robotics engineers to young apprentices. In addition, JLR estimate that the development will create a further 5,500 jobs in the supply chain;
  • Cutting edge technology: Manufacturing company Moog’s premises are located on the i54. Moog develops systems for military and commercial aircraft, satellites and space vehicles, missiles, wind turbines, marine and medical equipment; and
  • Government investment: In June the Government announced £6 million of infrastructure funding for the zone. The additional investment will allow major infrastructure improvements to the i54 site.
  • The Government opened the 24 enterprise zones in April 2012 as part of a 25-year project to rebalance the economy, offering tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband. That vision has provided a major boost to the UK construction sector with work already carried out to redevelop 85 hectares of land and deliver more than 47,000 square metres of new or refurbished floor space.

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