UP to 27,000 jobs could be created over the next 15 years in South Gloucestershire Council's new enterprise areas.

Three employment growth zones were designated in Filton, Severnside and Emersons Green at the first meeting of the policy and resource committee this month to act as magnets for inward investement.

It is hoped they will boost the local economy over the next decade by offering thousands of job opportunities in the region.

The creation of the enterprise areas was welcomed by district councillors.

Cllr Brian Allinson (Con, Stoke Gifford) said: "By designating and then developing a vision for each enterprise area, we can ensure that they become integral to the surrounding area and the benefits of investment in infrastructure, job creation and skills are felt by our local communities."

It is estimated that the new 95 hectare Filton enterprise area, which includes the airfield, has a potential growth of between 7,000 and 12,000 jobs.

These are expected to be created within the aerospace, advanced engineering and manufacturing sector.

The Severnside zone covers 462 hectares and would provide up to 8,000 new posts - with a minimum of 4,000 - in the environmental and industrial technologies field.

As for Emersons Green, with its Science Park and National Composites Centre, it is expected to offer new opportunities for up to 7,000 people in the composites and creative media industry.

The choice of locations for enterprise areas, especially the soon-to-close Filton Airfield, which is currently the subject of a public examination, was not supported by all parties.

Labour leader Cllr Andy Perkins (Woodstock) said although his party fully supported a move towards growth it still believed Filton Airfield should not be closing its doors.

"We welcome any efforts that will support our local economy against the cuts being imposed by the Conservative-led government," he said. "However, we continue to oppose the development of Filton Airfield and would want to see transport infrastructure to support the areas that are created."

Alongside this initiative, the Local Enterprise Partnership, which includes South Gloucestershire Council as well as local businesses, will develop a unified inward investment service to ensure that the local area can compete nationally and internationally against other recognised and emerging investment locations.