The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has awarded a new Life Science Enterprise Zone to the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership.

The new zone will include two strategic employment sites, Manchester Science Partnerships’ Central Campus and the Clusterlabs site owned by the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), both located within Corridor Manchester – the largest clinical academic campus in Europe.

The Enterprise Zone will specialise in life sciences, a key priority sector for economic growth in Greater Manchester, and will promote the continuing development of a leading innovation cluster within the North West’s life science sector.

Enterprise Zones offer incentives to attract new businesses, making it easier for them to locate there and generate jobs and growth.  They also act as catalysts for new businesses, allowing the local LEP to reinvest business rate growth into the zones to attract additional investment.

The new Life Science Enterprise Zone will join the existing Greater Manchester Enterprise Zone at Airport City, which includes Medipark, increasing the region’s pull for businesses and investors. In the past three years, the 24 existing Enterprise Zones report that they have attracted more than 15,500 jobs, over 480 businesses and £2.1 billion of private sector investment.

Mike Blackburn, chair of the Greater Manchester LEP said: “This Enterprise Zone will provide a welcome boost to the life science sector in Greater Manchester. Our city is built on innovation and this sector is key for the future of our economy. It will attract top rate life science companies to the area and help make Corridor Manchester one of the top innovation districts in Europe. The Greater Manchester LEP is committed to this project and we look forward to seeing the benefits of the investments, business and jobs.”

Chris Oglesby, MSP chair and Corridor board member said: “Life sciences are recognised as vital to the growth of the UK economy and our region has a number of competitive advantages to drive future growth in this sector – from physical infrastructure through to its supply chains, skills and knowledge base. Locating the Life Science Enterprise Zone in the Corridor Manchester innovation district, together with our Alderley Park site which forms part of the successful Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone, reinforces the North West as a destination for life science investment and business growth.”

Rowena Burns, MSP chief executive, added: “The additional jobs created as a result of the Life Science Enterprise Zone will be of high value, in a priority economic sector with the potential to benefit not just Greater Manchester but UK plc as a whole. It will deliver immediate financial and economic benefits by capitalising upon the established, successful partnership between MSP and CMFT, at a time of huge opportunity afforded by the ground breaking devolution of health and social care to Greater Manchester.  Once again, partnership working is proving to be the key to innovation which is at the heart of driving economic growth and social change.”

Sir Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of CMFT, said:  “This Enterprise Zone will attract innovative life sciences companies to our campus, enabling us to work with them to develop new solutions for diagnostics, treatments and care.

“Our location on Corridor Manchester at the heart of a growing regional life sciences cluster allows us to work with our Corridor partners to create a compelling offer to companies to establish and grow their businesses here.

“The life science cluster located on Corridor, is part of a wider health economy that will deliver economic benefit alongside improvements to health and wellbeing for people across the City region.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The Life Science sector is one of our distinctive strengths and the creation of this new Enterprise Zone can only help it flourish further. Manchester has a long and proud tradition of innovation and cutting edge life sciences research has the potential to improve lives as well as create jobs and attract further investment.”