Revealed as part of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s Mini Budget, 38 local authorities are currently in discussion to establish ‘investment zones’ in England, with plans to expand these across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Businesses in the designated sites will benefit from a raft of tax incentives, while construction will receive fast track planning applications.
Over the course of ten years, businesses will pay no business rates on newly occupied premises and will pay no National Insurance on the first £50,270 of a new employee’s annual salary, provided they work in the site for at least 60% of their time.
Companies purchasing plant and machinery assets will receive a 100% first year allowance on qualifying expenditure, and there will be a full stamp duty land tax cut on commercial buildings bought for use or development and purchases of land or buildings used for residential development.
There will also be an enhanced structures and buildings allowance, reducing taxable profits by 20% of the cost of qualifying non-residential investment per year for five years.
Further details will be provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, revealing the scale of deregulation and mechanisms for expedited planning permission.
Zones will only be designated following both an expression of interest process and local consent.
The government also doubled down on its commitment to Freeports, clarifying that the scheme could be extended to these.