On the 23rd Sept 2022, Kwasi Kwarteng, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the concept of Investment Zones. 38 areas have been identified as potentially Investment Zones, including locations/districts in Kent.
Roger Gough (Con) (pictured), the leader of Kent County Council (KCC) informed the leaders of each council in Kent, on or before the 26 Sept, that three locations across Kent have been put forward in KCCs Expression of Interest for Investment Zone status in the County, as we understand. The three locations are:
Gateway to Europe – Ashford BC, Folkestone & Hythe DC and Dover DC
The Thames Estuary
East Kent Coastal Communities
What is strange is Cllr Monk knew about Folkestone & Hythe DC being put forward as a potential site for an Investment Zone on Wednesday 28 Sept, the evening of full council, but elected not to inform Cllrs. This could mean Otterpool Park and all other housing developments within the district, Bigginswood, Ship Street, Highview could benefit if the Gateway to Europe is chosen as an investment Zone.
by Charles Briscoe-Knight
For more details on what an Investment Zone will offer the guidance can be found ⇒ here. But as we understand, as the detail has yet to be published, these zones will bring tax incentives, simplify planning restrictions and drive growth. While similar in concept to freeport tax sites, they are distinct in operation and function.
Specified sites in England will receive time-limited tax incentives over the next ten years.
Businesses within the zones will receive 100% relief on business rates for newly occupied premises and some existing business will also qualify if they expand within the zone. For 25 years, the local council will receive 100% of business rate growth above an agreed threshold.
Capital allowance and structures and buildings allowances are to be enhanced for businesses within the zones. As well as a full stamp duty land tax relief for land and property bought for commercial use or development or new residential developments.
Importantly for payroll professionals, new employees who work in the tax sites will be eligible for zero-rate employer NI contributions up to £50,270. Employees need to work at least 60% of their time in the site. Employer NI contributions over £50,270, will be charged at the usual rate.
As we learn more we will of course publish the detail.
The Shepway Vox Team
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