Teesside Heads Into The Enterprising Zone

A story I wrote for a final year assessment. The original was published on Tside

LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS are yet to be convinced a Teesside enterprise zone will do the business for the area.

The zone, which will be located within the £10 millionBoho project in central Middlesbrough offers businesses 100% rate relief, super fast broadband and for new start-ups an enhanced capital allowance

Chancellor George Osborne promised the multi million pound investment after successful lobbying from MP Tom Blenkinsop, business owners however are not so sure Mark Flanighan CEO of FOKMarketing said:

” Enterprise Zones always seem to excite the area but the reality nearly always seems to end with lots of empty office space, this government also needs to introduce some sort of system to asses who should get the funding.”

He added:

“It’s all well and good millions of pounds being pumped into the area but no good if it goes to the wrong people.”

The build up of businesses within the Riverside Park enterprise zone
The build up of businesses within the Riverside Park enterprise zone

Previous attempts at an enterprise zones such as the Riverside Park area of Middlesbrough have been met with mixed success, and over enthusiastic building estimates have left a large amount of empty office space. Business Analyst, Julian Rowe said:

“From my point of view it’s a lot more important to create an environment for local businesses to thrive rather than survive, In my opinion though enterprise zones do work.”

The Teesside zone will be joined by 20 others across the country, Mayor of London Boris Johnson was asked personally to choose the area used in the capital.

Working alongside the enterprise zones is the coalition governments new StartUpBritain campaign, which offers new businesses up to £1,500 in discounts and benefits from companies such as 02 and HP and has also been met with criticism, Rowe commented:

“The government is doing a lot to encourage the development of new business, offering money for business plans etc but what about the help in putting together a solid, realistic business plan?”

The campaign was also criticised by North East software company Sunderland Software City after sources revealed 75% of the software offered to businesses is developed by foreign firms.

High profile backers of the Teesside zone have included Middlesbrough Football Club Chairman Steve Gibson who said:

“We have the chance to offer a full range of choices to the next generation. If we get this investment we will get more economic activity and that means more entrepreneurial opportunities for young people.”