n Airport plans to go ahead regardless

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PLANS for an enterprise zone ten minutes from Rugby have ben thrown out by the Government.

Entrepreneur Sir Peter Rigby, owner of Coventry Airport, was hoping to get enterprise status zone around the airport to stimulate growth and boost the local economy. But the Government rejected the application last week, which will come as a blow to Sir Peter’s plans.

Despite the setback, the businessman has said he will plough ahead with the scheme, but it will not enjoy the tax breaks, relaxed planning laws and the access to super fast broadband that it might have.

Denys Shortt, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said news was “a setback” but added that the LEP was still working to boost the local economy.

“Of course we are disappointed and the news comes as a setback to the LEP and Coventry and Warwickshire,” he said.

“We believe our proposal - with the creation of 14,000 jobs - was very strong. We will continue to make it happen without the enterprize zone status.”

The reasons why the bid was rejected have not been made clear.

Mr Shortt added: “We will continue to focus on building the Coventry and Warwickshire economy and removing barriers to growth. These are not easy economic times and there is a real job for us here in 2011 and beyond.”

Meanwhile, the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) will build a £300m enterprise zone status technology park on the A5 near Nuneaton. Bosses at the company claim the news will help in its bid to create the most advanced transport technology development plant in Europe – creating more than 2,000 jobs.