Thursday, 26 March 2015

Capital allowances enhance investment appeal for Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone


News that companies locating in the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone can benefit from enhanced capital allowances (ECAs) as one of a number of financial incentives designed to encourage investment and development of the enterprise zone has been welcomed by Leeds City Council, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and developers active within the enterprise zone.

The announcement, made in the Chancellor’s Budget Statement, means that companies locating new operations in the Enterprise Zone and making large scale capital investments in plant and machinery will be able to offset costs against taxable profits.

Responding to the announcement, Leeds City Council’s executive member for transport and the economy Cllr Richard Lewis said: “We have lobbied long and hard for enhanced capital allowances as it offers a significant additional incentive that will allow us to attract large scale, capital intensive investment into the enterprise zone and create high value skilled jobs.”

ECAs will be available on designated sites at Logic Leeds and Temple Green, the two largest developments within the Enterprise Zone, which have planning permission for employment space totalling 3.8m sq ft.

Tom Bridges, Leeds City Council chief economic development officer, explained: “ECAs offer a significant financial incentive for large companies that pay corporation tax in the UK when they are looking to make a major investment in plant and machinery.

“A company spending £5m, for example, on qualifying plant and machinery that receives ECAs would benefit from a corporation tax reduction of £1m. That compares with a reduction of £180,000 under normal capital allowance regulations – an immediate net benefit to the company of £820,000.1

“Ideal for capital intensive, high value manufacturing operations, ECAs will make the Enterprise Zone a compelling investment proposition and location for larger multi-national investors who may not currently have operations based in the Leeds City Region.”

Roger Marsh, chair of the LEP, said: “The Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone is rapidly establishing itself as one of the biggest investment opportunities in the country and the announcement of enhanced capital allowances will enable us to attract yet more businesses by strengthening our package of financial incentives, particularly for companies making large-scale capital investments.”

In July 2014, ‘Assisted Area’ status was extended by the EU to parts of the Leeds City Region, including the electoral wards where the Enterprise Zone is situated.2

ECAs will be available to cover investments made before March 2020. For companies making smaller investments, the Enterprise Zone offers reduced business rates worth up to £275,000 over a five year period.

Grants of up to £500,000 are also available through the Leeds City Region business growth programme to companies operating in key business to business sectors, including advanced manufacturing and engineering. The grants, linked to employment creation, cover up to 10% of the total value of an investment in new premises and capital equipment.

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Notes for editors:
1. Assets are normally written down for accounting purposes at 18% per annum.
Enhanced capital allowance corporation tax reduction calculated as follows:
£5m x 100% ECA x 20% corporation tax = £1m tax reduction

Standard capital allowance corporation tax reduction calculated as follows:
£5m x 18% x 20% corporation tax = £180,000
2. Public sector financial assistance for business is normally restricted to a maximum of €200,000 over a three year period and only available to SMEs, defined as companies with less than 250 employees and a turnover no greater than €50 million. The company must be an independent entity with no external shareholdings greater than 25%. Assisted Area status removes the restriction on the level of financial support. Normal ‘state aid’ regulations apply outside Assisted Areas.
3. Covering 142 hectares of prime development land, less than 3 km to the south east of Leeds city centre, Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone enjoys a prime location for business investment and expansion with direct access to the national motorway network at junction 45 of the M1. Companies locating in the Enterprise Zone can receive reduced business rates worth £275,000 over a five year period plus a bespoke package of business support. Building work is now under way on all four of the main sites within the 142 hectare Leeds City Region enterprise zone with 260,000 sq ft of employment space currently committed and under construction. The Enterprise Zone is a spatial priority within the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan with significant potential to create employment and boost economic growth, particularly in the manufacturing sector and related supply chains.

Cockburn School - one of the best in the country for student progress at GCSE

Issued on behalf of Cockburn School

Cockburn School has received national recognition for the value it adds to students’ achievements at GCSE.

SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers Network, recently undertook its annual in-depth analysis of official Department for Education data on all state-funded schools in England and identified Cockburn’s success.

The school has qualified for an SSAT Educational Outcomes Award by being in the top 10% of schools nationally for progress made by pupils between their key stage 2 results at primary school and their GCSE results at age 16.

The school has been invited to receive their award at a regional celebration ceremony hosted by SSAT at Dixons Allerton Academy in Bradford on 11 May.

Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT said:
“Cockburn should be congratulated for their exceptional achievement. They have proved themselves to be leading the field in improving GCSE outcomes for their students. There is so much good practice that this school could share, and I hope they will join us at the celebration evening for the chance to network and share strategies with award-winning schools.

“These results are testament to the commitment and hard work of the students, teachers and leadership team at Cockburn, and show what can be achieved when skilled teachers have high expectations and ambition for every young person. I am proud that this school is a member of the SSAT network.”

Dave Gurney, headteacher of Cockburn School said:
“We are immensely proud to be recognised once again by SSAT for our outstanding progress to be in the top 10% of all school's nationally. This really is testament to the outstanding work of all our staff, and their commitment to making sure that all our children and young people have excellent outcomes.”

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Note to editors
Cockburn is an inclusive foundation school whose focus is on each individual, acknowledging both their rights and responsibilities. A strong care, support and guidance structure underpins a curriculum that seeks to develop the potential of every student. Academic rigour is valued at all stages and we strive to create learning experiences that provide challenge, engagement and achievement. Our vision is to create opportunities within and beyond the curriculum to enable each student to develop their potential so that they become confident, independent and successful citizens. www.cockburnschool.org

About SSAT:
SSAT, the Schools, Students and Teachers Network, is the name of the company founded from the former Specialist Schools and Academies Trust in May 2012.
SSAT is an independent membership organisation for schools. Our work in helping transform education in England started in 1987. Back then our role was to support and nurture the first City Technology Colleges – the initiative that first proved the value of employers and schools working together to drive up standards. As specialist schools and then the first academies came into being, our brief was extended to supporting them as well. That work, underpinned by our ‘by schools, for schools’ ethos, laid the foundations for many of our activities today…the innovative leadership and teacher CPD programmes, the commitment to thought leadership and research and, of course, the network of school leaders and innovative teachers which still drives all that we do.
Contact: press@ssatuk.co.uk

Leeds people urged to help crack down on York stone paving crooks

People in Leeds are being asked to help report the theft of desirable York stone paving from the city’s streets by crooks who then sell it on.

In the past year, Leeds City Council repair crews have had to replace an estimated £50,000 worth of York stone missing from pavements across the city. This is an increase of over 50% on the previous financial year.

Highways maintenance teams have been out to deal with 250 cases of the stone being stolen from public pavements in Leeds in the past year, a big increase on the 141 incidents the previous financial year. Just last night someone stole eight flags from an Oakwood street which the council had scheduled for refurbishment.

However, fewer incidents are being reported to West Yorkshire Police, with their statistics showing a 33% drop, down from 99 in Leeds the previous year to 66 this financial year.

York stone is the distinctive natural textured stone quarried in Yorkshire that features in much of the paving in the older parts of the city, particularly in places like Harehills, Headingley, Woodhouse, Burley, Armley, Cross Green, Roundhay, Gledhow, Beeston, Pudsey and Chapel Allerton.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for transport and economy, said:
“There is clearly a disparity between the numbers of incidents notified to the police and how many we have to deal with. I’d urge anyone spotting this to report it, to help stop these unscrupulous crooks getting away with it. It’s not a victimless crime, as council taxpayers have to pick up the tab.

“What might be just a quick illegal profit to them could be really dangerous for pedestrians, if they suddenly trip over missing paving. It’s costing the council- and therefore the city- money it can ill-afford, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for us to source replacement flags, as we have to reclaim them from elsewhere in Leeds.”

The West Yorkshire Police phone number for non-urgent calls is 101 and information on other ways to report crime to them is available online here: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101


For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
Email: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS

Joined Up Leeds gets backing

Opportunities to share data to help people look after their health moved a step closer after Leeds Health and Wellbeing board agreed to promote individual data-sharing projects in the city and support any future initiatives to enable citizens to take a greater role in owning their health and social records.

During the ‘Joined Up Leeds’ citywide conversation between the public sector and the people of Leeds, citizens were asked to think and talk about information sharing, its benefits, and concerns.

The different organisations and departments making up the NHS and local authority hold a lot of information about people. However, current data sharing rules and arrangements mean health and wellbeing service providers can’t always get the full picture of how they can best provide help.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“Leeds is striving to be the best city for health and wellbeing, and to be a global leader for health innovation. If we miss opportunities to use information appropriately, then the city’s ability to improve health outcomes and reduce inequalities is made harder.

“The council and NHS are keen to get a better understanding of what people think and feel about how their information should be used, so it has been good to see Joined Up Leeds delivering a chance for people to give us their views meaning we can make decisions based on evidence rather than speculation.”

Fiona Fylan, Director of Brainbox Research who carried out the engagement, said:

“People are clearly supportive of information being used to plan services better and deliver more seamless health and social care. They recognise there is a need to collect, share and analyse information to deliver the best possible health and social care and improve services by learning from the past and anticipating the future.

“This research provides evidence of ways people are happy for their information to be used for and how their concerns could be addressed. It provides insight into why people differ in how much information they want to share. People in Leeds are ready to embrace a future in which information plays a central role in their care. At the same time organisations need to understand how people feel about how their information is used and to make sure individuals feel in control of their information.”

Alastair Cartwright, Director of Informatics, NHS Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“We’ve had praise from a local and national level, including those previously known to be critical of the way in engage with citizens. We took that into account, and specifically targeted pubs, cafes, community and leisure centres where people gather and chat.”

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Notes for editors
More information about Joined Up Leeds is available at: http://www.brainboxresearch.com/news/joined-up-leeds/

Issued by:

Phil Morcom


Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council, 4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 07891 276270

Fax: 0113 247 4736
www.leeds.gov.uk