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Southend MP aims to create 1,300 jobs with investment zones

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SOUTHEND is the “perfect location” to create a new investment zone which could “double the area’s economy” and create more than 1,000 jobs.

During a debate over the Autumn Budget, Anna Firth, MP for Southend West, called for a meeting with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to explore how Southend businesses can benefit from new spending.

It came as she shouted out a number of the city’s businesses in a major budget debate on Tuesday.

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Investment zones are the government’s new proposal to set up dedicated geographic areas with specific tax and regulatory rules intended to drive economic growth.

Ms Firth said this would have the potential to double Southend’s economy and create 1,300 new jobs.

In the house, she said: “I would welcome a meeting with the chancellor to explore how Southend West’s businesses can benefit from the new spending.

“As well as being a fantastic example of a British city that has world-class innovation and is home to 3,700 businesses, Southend has an inspirational University of Essex campus.

“As the Chancellor has said, we must leverage the opportunities that Brexit has offered and build on our strength; Southend is the perfect location for one of the new cluster-style investment zones based around universities.

“We are situated at the gateway to the Thames, an area with huge potential for economic development.

“It has the potential to double its economy and create 1,300 new jobs over the next 25 years.

“The new city of Southend is ideally placed to be a world-leading life sciences hub, with businesses and the University to Essex working together.”

This all comes after Anna Firth slammed Southend Council for ruling out making a move for the City of Culture Bid.

The Southend West MP then said she is considering pushing ahead with a City of Culture bid without the council as she aims to “honour Sir David’s legacy”.

She believed the City of Culture Bid will show “economic ambition”.

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