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Council welcomes Investment Zone opportunity

With the potential to attract significant business investment and create more jobs for Hampshire residents, Hampshire County Council’s Leader, Councillor Rob Humby has set out the Authority’s backing for new Investment Zones.

A report mapping out how the County Council is ‘Driving Towards Economic Strength, to be received by the County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 18 October, highlights a firm commitment to continue to work in partnership to now explore latest opportunities to boost business and investment in the county’s economic area through the establishment of an Investment Zone.

Councillor Rob Humby said: “Government gave upper tier local authorities, such as County Councils, a deadline of today (14 October) to submit an Expression of Interest in hosting an Investment Zone, which is what we have now done. It follows discussions with city, district and borough council leaders across Hampshire on this issue as it is important that we all continue to work collaboratively, in partnership, to achieve the best possible outcomes that we can for Hampshire residents - and aligned to our collective ambitions for a Pan-Hampshire County Deal, to maximise opportunities to stimulate all aspects of our local economy to increase our competitiveness and growth, and help to bring far-reaching benefits for residents, communities, and businesses and improve people’s lives now and for years to come.

“Becoming an Investment Zone would bring a real economic boost to the local area and enable the county to benefit from lower taxes for business rates and employee earnings - up to £50,270 per annum - stamp duty relief and tax relief on plant and machinery. Additionally, planning rules for both commercial and residential development would be streamlined to reduce unnecessary delays. In turn, these advantages would help significantly to rejuvenate our towns and cities, create jobs and deliver new homes.”

Councillor Humby continued: “I have already written to Government to advise of our intention to register our interest in hosting an Investment Zone, highlighting how the Pan-Hampshire area is already a strong economic powerhouse in its own right and a major net contributor to the Exchequer with a £67bn economy, as well as a world class gateway for global Britain.”

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