13 January, 2009
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson gave the go-ahead for a new £35m Business Start Up programme for the Northwest, during a visit to the region.
During a breakfast summit with local business leaders at the Lowry Arts Centre in Salford, Lord Mandelson said: "This new funding will help entrepreneurs in the Northwest to get new enterprises off the ground and access the support they need to grow and flourish.
"Nurturing and protecting start ups and young businesses through this downturn will lead us into the upturn that will follow."
Over the past two months Lord Mandelson has set out his vision for a new industrial activism. Speaking today he explained the crucial role that regions will play in this vision and why initiatives like the Business Start Up programme are so important.
Lord Mandelson said: “The next industrial revolution will, once again, be driven by the regions, just as Britain’s first industrial revolution was.
“We need to train, nurture and support the Richard Arkwrights of the future. It won’t be cotton, but it will be bioscience, or green tech, or precision engineering or creative industries. Industrial activism has to be built on precise regional knowledge of what is needed in terms of infrastructure, investment and training.
“I see the RDAs taking a leading role in this. Indeed I believe it should now be their defining role.”
The Business Start Up programme will be accessed through Business Link Northwest, the region’s business support gateway. Specialist advisers will provide a comprehensive package of support, advice and training for start-ups and young businesses.
The funding for the programme includes £26.6m from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and £8.4m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – a total of £35m over 5 years from April 2009. Local authorities can also add to the programme by coming forward with extra funding.
The targets for the five year support programme are to:
• support 12,700 new businesses; and
• create 22,900 jobs
Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said:
“The Business Start Up programme aims to encourage and support people with a business idea to gain the necessary expertise to put that idea into practice. We are listening to the established businesses in the region and responding to their needs with a package of business support measures but it is also vital for our future growth that we continue to help and encourage business start ups.”
“We are fully aware that it is a tough business climate at the moment, but we have a robust and diverse economy and it is important that in 2009 we are developing a business culture of realistic optimism."
Source: Northwest Regional Development Agency