The Enterprise Zone Team at Blackpool Council are delighted to announce that more than 1,000 new jobs have been generated at Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone since its inception in April 2016.

Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council said, “More businesses are being attracted to the site because of the additional commercial benefits that the Enterprise Zone status brings. Businesses experiencing growth have more opportunities to realise their ambitions, expand operations and are taking advantages of the financial incentives and the design and build opportunities that are available at the Enterprise Zone and it shows in the increase in job numbers in the area.”

“The jobs created are across a wide variety of the identified target sectors including advanced manufacturing and engineering, digital and creative, aviation and energy. The Council’s ambitions for the Enterprise Zone is to create up to 5,000 long term, sustainable jobs over the remaining 23 year lifespan of the Enterprise Zone status, and although this is an excellent start, we have a long way to go and a lot more hard work to do to reach the site’s full potential.”

Companies that have contributed in creating long term sustainable employment opportunities include:

  • Guest Services – have seen significant growth since their expansion into bigger premises on the EZ and have more doubled their workforce with a running total of 162 staff
  • ARC – has built a 20,000 sq ft bespoke unit, relocating 30 staff from Palmer Avenue and creating an extra 20 new positions with the move
  • PF Concept – a European promotional supplier, as part of its significant UK investment programme and acquisition of SPS EU Ltd has expanded into the former Turner Cash & Carry site and with the move has created 40 new jobs and currently recruiting 26 more
  • Charity Silver Line Helpline – moved their centre of national operations to Blackpool in October 2016 creating 180 jobs for the area and the charity continues to grow
  • TM Legal Services – moved 90 staff to the site in August 2018 and created 70 new openings with the expansion

In addition the site has seen increases in contract-based full time equivalent contractor jobs on 7 different completed developments across the site and the financial benefits such as business rates relief and enhanced capital allowances, the site is also contributing to safeguarding jobs on the Fylde Coast and stemming the flow of businesses relocating out of the area.

Since April 2016 the Enterprise Zone has:

  • Generated more than 1000 new jobs on the Enterprise Zone
  • Attracted 55 new companies
  • Attracted new investment with 7 new developments completed, 2 currently under construction and 2 further planning applications received
  • Over 200 commercial property enquiries received by the EZ team at Blackpool Council
  • Investment of nearly £1m committed in the airport’s operational capability including instrument land systems, navigational aids and the appointment of additional air traffic control officers
  • New and growing businesses locating to the Enterprise Zone have so far benefited from £2.54m business rates relief

The overall ambition for the site is to:

  • Attract £300m private investment
  • Generate up to 5,000 new jobs
  • Provide new enabling infrastructure c.£70m
  • Encourage up to 140 new businesses to the area
  • Build, convert or re-purpose 260,000 sq m of potential employment space

Blackpool Council as the EZ accountable body has allocated £28.8m for enabling infrastructure and to kick start development over the first three years. An outline planning application will be lodged on 25 March 2019 for a new eastern access gateway road that will unlock new development plots and ease congestion on the roads for the local community and existing business owners.

It will also enable the relocation and development of a new sports village for the area which will include 2 x 3G all-weather sports pitches, grass football pitches, changing facilities and a social club and local service retail.

A decision is expected in August and a full planning application for the sports village and the new access road will be submitted shortly after consent is approved. Interviews with prospective developers and consultants are currently underway with the Enterprise Zone team to enable the early progression of the construction stage of phase 1.