In yesterday's Budget, the Chancellor announced that he would be establishing 21 Enterprise Zones to ensure that all parts of the country succeed economically. Businesses in such zones will benefit from up to 100% discounts on rates, new superfast broadband, a radically simplified planning system and, in zones where there is a strong focus on manufacturing, the potential to use enhanced capital allowances. He announced the parts of the country where 11 of these zones would be - one of them will be in London and he said he had asked the Mayor to choose a suitable site. The Mayor has already announced that it will be in the Royal Docks in east London.
But there are 10 zones still up for grabs. I will be lobbying the Government to make sure at least one of these is in London and, if I am successful in that, lobbying the Mayor to put it in Croydon. Our town has been in relative economic decline for some time and this could be just the shot in the arm we need.
UPDATE Progress already. The Mayor has said that he thinks Croydon has "a fantastic case" and that he'll be making that case to the Government.