In his mini-budget on 23 September 2022, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced plans to drive growth and unlock housing by developing new Investment Zones across the UK.

  • Zones are to be set up in 38 local authority areas in England plus areas to be designated in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • These will be designated development sites to release more land for both housing and commercial development by minimising the need for planning applications or streamlining the process where planning is required.
  • Businesses setting up in these zones will benefit from:
    • No Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the purchase of land and buildings in the zone.
    • 100% business rates relief on newly occupied and expanded premises for 25 years.
    • 100% enhanced capital allowances for plant and machinery used within designated sites.
    • An enhanced Structures and Buildings Allowance rate of 20% per year.
    • A zero rate of Employers NICs for new employees taken on who work at the investment zone site for at least 60% of their time, for earnings up to £50,270 per year.

UPDATE: in the Autumn Statement on 17 November 2022 it was announced that all local authority bids to date are being refused whilst the government refocuses the investment zone programme on a limited number of the highest potential knowledge-intensive growth clusters. More information is awaited on this.

Useful guides on this topic

Mini-budget 2022: at a glance
A summary for SMEs and their owners

External link

The Growth Plan 2022: policy paper 

The Growth Plan 2022: Factsheet on Investment Zones

Autumn statement 2022: Policy paper 

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