Watershed moment for Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone

Published : 26/06/2012 00:00

Watershed moment for Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone

Watershed Packaging has announced plans to build a brand new manufacturing facility at Thornes Farm, becoming the first company to take advantage of incentives on offer to businesses locating in the new Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone.

The enterprise zone, which went live at the beginning of April 2012, covers 142 hectares of prime development land strategically positioned along the route of the East Leeds Link Road. It is located just minutes from Leeds city centre and the national motorway network.

Companies relocating to the enterprise zone benefit from reduced business rates worth up to £275,000 over a five year period, plus simplified planning and an intensive business support package

Watershed Packaging is a leading provider of packaging machinery, packaging consumables, printed adhesive labels and printed flexible packaging. It is also one of the top five providers of manufactured printed adhesive tapes in the UK.

Set up in 1993 the privately-owned company has three main production facilities based in Leeds, Blackwood and Beverley.

The new premises will allow the company to relocate and expand its operations in Leeds, building a new 25,000 sq ft unit on the 2.5 hectare site and creating up to 40 new jobs. The site also allows the option to expand the premises by a further 25,000 sq ft at a future date.

Chief executive John Waters said: “The location, combined with the support available to companies locating in the enterprise zone, made this an wonderful opportunity to consolidate and expand our operations into a modern facility, with scope for further growth. These are truly exciting times for the business.”

Owned by Leeds City Council, Thornes Farm is one of four sites that make up the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone: Newmarket Lane (9.2 ha), Thornes Farm (21 ha), Logic Leeds (49 ha) and Temple Green (63 ha).

All four sites are ready for development and have planning consents in place for a range of employment uses, including large-scale manufacturing, distribution and high quality offices.

In March Leeds City Council agreed funding of £2.5 million to build a spine road to accelerate development of the Logic Leeds site and link it to surrounding residential communities. Plans to create an advanced medical park within the enterprise zone to build on Leeds’ strength in the healthcare sector are also under discussion.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for development and economy said:

“This is an important first step in realising the potential of the enterprise zone to attract investment, drive growth and create new jobs for the people of Leeds and the wider city region.

“We expect more good news to follow in the next few months as companies already located within the area of the enterprise zone bring forward plans for expanding their operations there and work starts on developing the Logic Leeds site.”

Neil McLean, chair of the Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership said:

 “Located in the Leeds City Region, the enterprise zone is an ideal location for business relocation and expansion. As well as the incentives on offer, it’s a great strategic location, close to Leeds with superb transport connections.

“The enterprise zone significantly strengthens the Leeds City Region’s offer as a location for business and investment. As it develops, the Aire Valley Leeds enterprise zone will be key to delivering our ambitions to develop a world-leading, dynamic economy delivering high value jobs and growth.”

Editor's note
More information on the enterprise zone can be found at www.airevalleyleeds.com/ez

For technical enquiries relating to the enterprise zone, contact:
Peter Anderson-Beck, Aire Valley Leeds Programme Manager,
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 2474686

For press/media enquiries please contact:
Annie Goodyear
Senior Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
0113 2243937