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Explore opportunities for your investment at Scotland's 16 Enterprise Areas across life sciences, low carbon, renewables and general manufacturing.

To maximise development and increase your company's return on inward investment, certain areas of Scotland have been designated Enterprise Areas.

16 top locations

What are Enterprise Areas?

Enterprise Areas are identified locations set up by the Scottish Government in order to stimulate manufacturing opportunities as well as investment and job creation. These locations offer clear opportunities for investment-led growth.

Your business can benefit from the following financial incentives:

  • Discounted business rates (up to 100 percent) available at 14 sites OR
  • Enhanced capital allowances * for investment in plant and machinery at 3 sites
  • A streamlined approach to planning
  • High speed broadband connections which build on the vision outlined in Scotland's Digital Future - Infrastructure Action Plan
  • International promotion and marketing of Enterprise Areas by Scottish Development International and advice to help your businesses grow in global markets
  • Skills and training support to fully capitalise on the employment opportunities created

Where are Scotland's Enterprise Areas?

There are four sector focused Enterprise Areas in Scotland covering 16 sites:

  1. Life sciences
  2. Low carbon/renewables 
  3. General manufacturing
  4. Growth sectors

Discounted business rates

A key incentive at the majority of Enterprise Area sites is discounted business rates which will enable your business to invest and grow by reducing its overhead costs.

The Regulations enabling business rates discounts to be offered from 1 April 2012 are available on the UK Government Legislation website.

Business tax relief

Businesses can claim up to 100% rate relief under de minimis meaning savings worth up £275,000 per eligible business over the policy’s five year timeframe.

Boundary maps

We can supply you with maps indicating the Enterprise Area boundaries for each site, where business rates discounts and enhanced capital allowances apply. Maps are available on request.

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This is money which your business would otherwise pay as tax and which your business can invest to help create new jobs or boost growth. 

The Regulations specify that business rates discounts will be available within specific geographical boundaries at each location.

Enhanced capital allowances

At some locations enhanced capital allowances (also known as first year allowances) could enable your business to claim for up to 100% of the cost of certain qualifying investment in plant and machinery against your businesses taxable profits.

If you're a single user, or a small number of businesses, and likely to incur significant capital expenditure costs, enhanced capital allowances may be more attractive, and worth more than business rates discounts.

Streamlined planning and applications

A non-statutory framework to ease a swift planning process has been put in place across the Enterprise Areas, set out in a national planning protocol for handling of applications.

The protocol has been developed and agreed by the 10 local authorities and COSLA. It identifies the measures which will be put in place by Scottish Government, local authorities, key agencies and developers working in partnership to ensure a speedy approach to handling planning consents in Enterprise Area sites.

In some instances planning permission will already be in place to enable developments within Enterprise Areas to be considered in a timely manner.

In others, applications, whether under the Planning Acts or other legislation (Harbour Revision Orders, Listed Building Consent, Marine Licensing) will require commitment to efficient processing and joint working in order to swiftly deliver economic benefit.

Decisions will continue to be made in accordance with established planning policy and legislative framework.

Next generation broadband

The Scottish Government aims to ensure that next generation high speed broadband connectivity is delivered to every Enterprise Area site by 2015 at the absolute latest, and led by the private sector where possible.

This is in line with the connectivity targets set out in Scotland’s Digital Future: Infrastructure Action Plan, published on 31 January 2012.

Skills and training support

Scotland's Enterprise Areas are focused on growth sectors, often in emerging industries like renewables. Tailored skills support will be an important part of the overall Enterprise Area package, benefiting your business and enabling each site to realise its full potential.

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Skills Development Scotland (SDS) will work closely with ourselves and local partners to deliver bespoke skills plans to address the needs of new and expanding businesses like yours in Scotland’s Enterprise Areas.

SDS draws on national expertise and resources while also delivering local flexibility.

Enterprise Areas will benefit from:

  • The development and implementation of Skills Investment Plans for the energy and renewables, life sciences and creative industries sectors
  • Adoption of a strategic joined-up approach in developing bespoke skills plans for new business settlement and growth opportunities
  • Free training and advice to help businesses grow in global markets

These plans aim to attract new talent to the sectors, enhance workforce productivity and enable ambitious growth objectives to be achieved. The plans will therefore help realise growth opportunities and encourage investment and job creation in these key strategic sites.

We work with SDS and other partners to encourage businesses to invest in Enterprise Areas, helping businesses like yours recruit and get the right training for your employees.

We also support individuals to identify and develop the skills and experience needed to take up opportunities created by businesses locating within an Enterprise Area.

Contact us to learn more about our Enterprise Areas