IS A NEW DUDLEY ENTERPRISE ZONE BEING PLANNED?
For those with memories that go back to the 1980’s, people will remember the Richardsons developing British Steel’s Round Oak Iron and Steel Works in Dudley. The area came to be designated as an Enterprise Zone and Merry Hill shopping complex was born. The rest is history, or, rather, the rest was many of the areas around Merry Hill struggling to match the success Merry Hill became.
Dudley has since tried to regain Enterprise Zone status under this Government’s Scheme for New Enterprise Zones, although, sadly, Dudley failed in its bid.
The news that caught our eye in the last few days harks back to the original Enterprise Zone (EZ) area around Brierley Hill and the ‘rate free’ incentives that original EZs benefitted from.
The headline ran as follows in the Stourbridge News:-
“Rate Relief plan aims to revive Brierley Hill’s Waterfront complex”.
The idea is to offer two year rate free relief to new companies going to “Brierley Hill’s half empty Waterfront complex”. The initiative has been put together by the property owners and Dudley Council by creating a Dudley Business Investment Zone. They are trying to attract new occupants to the Canal Side space available.
Brierley Hill’s Waterfront has really struggled in the last ten years and innovation and ingenuity is needed to bring the area back to life. It is good to see a Council being forthright and vocal with an offer to help this scheme. If other Local Authorities can engage with private sector partners on schemes like this then surely this can be a great way of attracting new life to areas where life has drained away.
Our Rating and Agency teams can help advise over liaising with Local Authorities to see if any relief from rates can be negotiated on schemes or properties that you may have.
Andrew Hulbert BSc (Hons) MRICS IRRV