Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

EZs Put Region Back on Its Feet

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

EZs Put Region Back on Its Feet

Article excerpt

Byline: By Greg Davison and Colin Davidson

County Durham's business parks have enjoyed the tax benefits provided to developers by Enterprise Zones in the past 15 years. But with these benefits coming to an end DTZ's Greg Davison and Colin Davidson say schemes still come forward.

County Durham has seen the realisation of a number of successful business parks over the years, as a result of the designation of Enterprise Zone status in the early 1990s.

The designation of the Enterprise Zones has helped prompt speculative development in areas where it had previously been uneconomic for unassisted development to take place, and the success of these developments has helped create a true business location.

Initially generated through investment by wealthy investors, these individuals were able to channel money into such "shelters" while benefiting from lucrative tax breaks in Enterprise Zone Trusts, and thus provide the financial backing to enable speculative office development and to allow the area to compete for new investment from companies and organisations looking to expand.

As the Enterprise Zones have begun to expire, many of the syndicates that invest in these areas have looked to sell their properties, spurred on by the hot investment market for property in the North-East and the UK generally.

Following the early success of Doxford at Sunderland, East Durham Enterprise Zones witnessed its first speculative office development in 1994 at Fern Court, Bracken Hill, Peterlee.

Comprising smaller pavilion style offices these smaller units were developed into larger call centre and office buildings, with occupiers such as IT specialist EDS, Orange and Npower taking space.

The financial strength of these tenants is highly attractive to property investors in addition to healthy demand and rental growth prospects. …

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