A BUSINESS park near Didcot has started building work for a new multi- million-pound Enterprise Zone that is set to boost jobs in the area.

Science Vale UK, including Harwell and Milton Park, is one of 10 new Enterprise Zones to be created by the Government following a successful bid from Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

When the zone was announced earlier this year it was estimated there could be a £9m-a-year boost to the economy and more than 8,000 jobs created.

Oxfordshire LEP will decide how £6m of Government infrastructure funding should be spent, with money set to go to the Science Vale UK Enterprise Zone.

Milton Park East features a large vacant storage and distribution base and the demolition of the building will provide space for companies in the science and hi-tech sectors.

MEPC Milton Park managing director James Dipple said: “The redevelopment of building 182 is giving our current occupiers the room to expand and grow, as well as creating extra space so new organisations can move to the estate.

“Creating jobs is the primary reason for the Government selecting regions such as ours for enterprise zone status.

“As well as the direct employment benefits, we expect to see wider knock-on job creation as the local community expands to support increased business occupation.”

Fencing has been installed along the edge of the site and demolition of the existing building is under way.

The work is due to be finished by January, with the rubble created by the demolition left for future construction.

The Enterprise Zone aims to create 8,400 jobs by 2015.

Bought by MEPC in 1985, Milton Park is one of Europe’s largest business and science parks, with nearly 200 firms employing more than 6,500 people.

Transport planners have ruled out putting any of the £6m towards starting work on the Harwell link road, which could cost up to £26m.

Campaigners say the link road between the A4130 outside Didcot and the Harwell site is crucial to remove commuter traffic from surrounding villages.

Instead, funding will be spent on smaller infrastructure projects for Harwell and Milton Park that are at an advanced stage of planning, including access roads and improved broadband connections.