Gloucester MP Richard Graham and City Council Leader Paul James joined forces today with business associations to push for a new Enterprise Zone in Gloucester's Railway Triangle as part of a bid by Gloucestershire's Local Enterprise Partmership.
Gloucester FSB Chairman Mark Owen added the support of his 700 members: 'Yes this would be good news for Gloucester. We badly need more jobs in the city, and the Railway Triangle has the scale and potential to provide them. An Enterprise Zone should attract some decent sized businesses with supply chain and sub contracting opportunities for smaller businesses in Gloucester'.
One question raised is whether an Enterprise Zone would have ny knock on impact on city centre shopping. Gloucester Chamber of Trade and Commerce President Mark Boyce is reassured that 'although I understand Morrisons has committed to the area, the point of an EZ is manufacturing and related activity like training, not a retail park, so I back this bid which is complimentary to the city centre - and in fact 1,000 new jobs should bring more shoppers into the city'.
The bid also has the backing of Gloucester's largest city centre business, Ecclesiastical, as well as county businesses like Kier Moss, Hazlewoods and Rickerbys.
Richard Graham said 'one of the bidding criteria is showing the degree of business support, and Paul and I have just written to fifty of the major employers in and around Gloucester to do just that. This is all about Gloucester pulling together to make the business regeneration of the Railway Triangle a success. Let's turn 20 years of failure into something for the city to be proud of.'
And Paul James added 'the Triangle is one of our great regeneration challenges, and I believe EZ status would be a great help in transforming it. So let us know if you back our push and help us to make our bid as strongly as we can'