§ Sir John Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about the operation of enterprise zones in the Province.
§ Mr. Needham
There are two enterprise zones in Northern Ireland, the Belfast enterprise zone and the Londonderry enterprise zone.
Belfast enterprise zone:1. The Belfast zone was designated on 21 October 1981.It consists of two sub-zones:—
- (i) an inner city sub-zone of 300 acres dominated by large former textile mills; and
- (ii) 200 acres of mostly reclaimed land at the north foreshore owned by the Belfast city council and the Belfast harbour commissioners.2. At the end of four years the zone has attracted 150 new firms, bringing 1,512 new jobs; a further 41 firms have expanded and generated 241 new jobs—giving 1,753 new jobs to the zone. Over the four years the zone has attracted £25 million of investment.3. There continues to be a high level of interest in the advantages of the zone from the private sector. Full utilisation of the 200 acres in the north foreshore sub-zone is in prospect. Development schemes in the inner city sub-zone already under way or in planning will cater for the demands for development sites in the area.
Londonderry enterprise zone:4. Londonderry enterprise zone was designated on 13 September 1983. It also is a split one with:
- (a) 167 acres on the west bank of the river Foyle at Springtown, Northland and Pennyburn industrial estates; and
- (b) 103 acres at Campsie on the east bank.5. To date 39 new businesses have been established, which together with expansion of existing companies provide 290 new jobs in the zone. The zone has attracted some £1 167W million of investment, bringing 250,000 sq. ft. of vacant factory space into use for commercial and industrial purposes.6. One of the most significant developments has been the acquisition of a very large vacant factory by a local company. To date, 11 of the new companies to the zone are located at these premises, occupying some 70,000 sq. ft.