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With 23 Enterprise Zones already approved and established all around the UK, business leader Barry Dodd has urged the government to consider businesses in rural areas. The chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership for York, East Riding and North Yorkshire has gained the support from local MPs as he calls for the creation of mini Enterprise Zones in rural areas.

George Osborne is due to announce further measures to stimulate the economy in late November. Talks have been held between Barry Dodd and officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs concerning the creation of mini zones which would offer the same incentives as the Enterprise Zones in urban areas.

Existing Enterprise Zones receive tax incentives, fast-track planning, super-fast broadband and discounted business rates. It is hoped that the incentives will create more jobs and boost the economy. However, the Zones are mostly in urban areas, therefore putting the businesses in rural areas in danger of being forgotten. According to Dodd, the potential income from rural areas amounts to £347 billion annually. Enterprise Networks could be developed which would share the benefits, like tax incentives and the super-fast broadband. Dodd said:

“What we need to look at is an idea of distributed Enterprise Networks in rural areas where we could tie together a number of business policies- for example in market towns around North Yorkshire- and tie them together with fast broadband and some tax incentives to get businesses growing.”

Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon calls for support for Barry Dodd to ensure that rural areas aren’t overlooked by the government.

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