On 17th August 2011 the Prime Minister announced that Hereford had been awarded Enterprise Zone status at the Rotherwas Estate. The site was nominated by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, which includes Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire, and the bid was developed by the Herefordshire Business Board.
The 61.5 ha site, which includes three distinct but linked development areas at the South Magazine, North Magazine and Chapel Road, already benefits from the new Rotherwas Access road, completed in June 2008, giving the estate quick and easy access to the A49, M50 and the rest of the motorway network. New internal access roads to the North and South Magazines have recently been completed and site clearance is ongoing in preparation for future development to begin as early as mid 2012. The new Enterprise Zone is also strategically placed within an hour and half drive of the international airports at Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff.
Enterprise Zone status offers a range of benefits to businesses located on the site, including relief on business rates up to a maximum of £275,000 over a five year period, relaxation and fast tracking of the planning process and provision of improved infrastructure such as superfast broadband. It is predicted that the scheme will become a catalyst for enhanced economic growth throughout the Marches through the creation of highly skilled jobs and encouragement of overseas investment into the area.
Hereford Enterprise Zone, known as Skylon Park has the following key aims:
- Around 1,800 jobs by 2015
- Three sites covering 61.5 hectares
- Focus on defence, engineering, green technologies and food processing
- Tax breaks saving £4m in business rates
- At least £90m of investment from the private sector by 2015
- Wireless broadband by 2013
Click here for the Sklyon Park Brochure