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Oxford to benefit from Government’s long-term economic plan targeting high streets and local industries

PUBLISHED: 10:45 20 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:46 20 February 2014

Oxford’s Science Vale Enterprise Zone will receive up to £7m to build 4,000 square metres of highly specialised laboratory and bioscience innovation hub that will create 370 new jobs at Milton Park.

The money is part of a £415 million cash injection to back business, boost high streets, create jobs and help local economies thrive and was announced by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles as part of the Government’s long term economic plan.

The announcement comprises:

• £300 million to give 300,000 small retail firms £1000 off their next tax bill;

• £100 million to support critical business infrastructure in Enterprise Zones;

• £15 million to establish new University Enterprise Zones in the eight main UK cities, including Oxford.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

“This money for infrastructure will transform acres of Enterprise Zone land and build a stronger, more competitive business environment that will create up to 3000 jobs for hardworking people across the country.’ Twelve Enterprise Zone bids have been shortlisted to complete critical ‘nuts and bolts’ infrastructure that will turn dormant sites into prime economic land, including Oxford.

James Dipple, Managing Director of Milton Park, said:

“This announcement is great news for Oxfordshire, as it will further strengthen the county’s highly successful life sciences cluster. The Government’s contribution will help us provide exactly the type of environment which small and growing life science businesses desperately need, located in the heart of Milton Park’s well established hub of 50 life science companies.

“Public-private partnerships such as this, with business investing alongside Government, create opportunities for local employment, national success and healthcare advances which will be used around the world.”

Science Vale is the biggest specialist community of scientists and technologists in the UK. Existing businesses already on the Zone include world class science and technology companies like Amgen, Evotec, Infineum, Oxford Instruments, Vertex and Oxitec. Some 366 jobs have been created since April 2012.

The Zone’s ambition is to create 16,000 more over 15 years.

Read our interview with James Dipple in the May edition of Business and Professional Life Magazine published by Cotswold Life Inc Oxfordshire Life

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