Dorset Council today submitted three Expressions of Interest to the Government for potential investment areas in Dorset. These are:
- Weymouth – several waterside regeneration sites in Weymouth Harbor and Marina. The proposal is to redevelop disused and underdeveloped sites to provide housing and employment, with opportunities for commercial and leisure developments.
- Portland – the port area, providing opportunities for business and commercial operations, and a residential site in Castletown. It should be noted that the proposed location for an incinerator at Portland Harbor (currently being planned) is explicitly excluded of the declaration of interest. The decision on the incinerator is subject to the independent planning process and will not be affected by any proposed investment area.
- Laine – a site adjacent to the existing Dorset Innovation Park to build on success by providing new investment and development opportunities for key sectors including advanced engineering and manufacturing.
It is understood that the government’s new investment zones will accelerate infrastructure development to spur economic growth by offering tax breaks to potential investors and simplified and reduced regulatory and planning processes. The objective is to attract new investments to create jobs.
It is not yet known when the government will announce the decisions on expressions of interest for the investment zones.
Cllr Tony Ferrari, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Assets and Property at Dorset Council, said:
“We have submitted three strong expressions of interest for potential investment zones. We welcome any opportunity to attract investment, improve infrastructure and create jobs here in Dorset. The three proposed locations offer great potential for economic development and are suitable for this type of activity.
“However, I must also say that we have so far only received limited details from the Government on the operation of the Investment Zones. Our Expressions of Interest do not represent a commitment from the Government or Dorset Council. We We are awaiting further details from government so that we can assess the potential pros and cons of an investment zone before making a formal commitment following council processes.