Developers sought for Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone

Blackpool Council has declared its intention to invite expressions of interest in the development of Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, an industrial-led, mixed use employment site incorporating Blackpool Airport.

Potential private sector partners are being invited to register their interest in the 144 hectare site before the 30th November, which will eventually lead to the appointment of one or more preferred developers to drive forward the site and achieve the vision of making Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone a premier business location in the North West.

Blackpool Council is looking for developer partners that can provide a flexible approach to support the delivery of individual buildings and different character areas identified within the Enterprise Zone Masterplan.

Character Areas are:

  • Knowledge & Business Quarter – home of business, knowledge and education
  • Airport Zone – high quality airport operations
  • Business Hub – Key development sites on Amy Johnson Way
  • Innovation Gateway – New gateway, landmark building and business hub
  • Industrial Heart – mixed advanced manufacturing, light industrial and logistics
  • Third Space – Mixed use commercial space
  • Sports Village – key eastern gateway and commercial leisure use

The Enterprise Zone is part of a wider £1 billion regeneration programme for Blackpool and is already playing a critical part in attracting the inward investment needed for Blackpool’s future development with a focus on broadening and improving the commercial property offer available on the Fylde Coast.

Cllr Mark Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Economic Development said, “We have no fixed view as to the best partnership approach to adopt and have the scope to work alongside several delivery partners, therefore we wish to consider and explore a number of high level proposals. These may cover either the entire Enterprise Zone, the operational airport or a combination of the main Enterprise Zone elements such as The Airport Business Park and The Common Edge Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) area.”

A Masterplan for the phased development of the Enterprise Zone was prepared earlier this year and phase one is now underway, including the provision of a new eastern gateway access and the creation of a new sports village to enable relocation of existing sports pitches and the release of greenbelt land for B1/B2/B8 and residential development.

Blackpool Council recently allocated £28.8m to support the initial enabling infrastructure which will open up a range of development and investment opportunities over the next three years and support the ambition of the Enterprise Zone to host up to 5,000 new jobs, 140 new businesses and attract £300m of private sector investment over its 25 year lifespan.

Blackpool Council is the majority freeholder within the Enterprise Zone, having acquired Blackpool Airport in September 2017 and acts as the accountable body on behalf of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and will lead initial enabling development.

The Enterprise Zone offers occupiers two mutually exclusive financial incentives, up to 100% business rates relief for five years and enhanced capital allowances up to €125m first year relief, each subject to qualifying criteria and available till March 2022 and November 2023 respectively.

Cllr Smith continues, “It is important to maximise the benefit of these early year incentives to create a strong, positive momentum in the site and building on the initial early developments that have already taken place. These have already attracted over 650 jobs since the commencement of the Enterprise Zone and have generated a pipeline of bespoke development enquiries that we are keen to bring to fruition.”

For more information on Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, please call the Enterprise Zone Team on Freephone 0808 1644922.

The informal tender for expressions of interest is on The Chest North West Portal https://www.the-chest.org.uk/ until noon on 30th November 2018.