The 2011 Budget delivered today by Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to implement 21 "Enterprise Zones" which would receive tax breaks and planning considerations, but also feature super-fast broadband connections to businesses in the area. The zones echo a similar initiative from the 1980's which tout London's Docklands as the big success story.
These Enterprise Zones are to be set up in Birmingham and Solihull, Bristol, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, Leeds, Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Sheffield, the Tees Valley, Tyneside and The Black Country. A further ten zones, including one in London, will be announced later in the summer which will be open to bidding from interested communities.
"Government support to ensure superfast broadband is rolled out in the zone. This will be achieved through guaranteeing the most supportive planning environment and, if necessary, public funding."2011 Budget
Of course, if any funding for this is forthcoming from the government purses, it is not clear who would pay for it. With BDUK, set up to help deliver fibre to every community, it is quite possible that this could be used to enable these enterprise zones with fast connectivity.