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New Businesses: West Yorkshire

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 8774, tabled on 27 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps he has taken to encourage new businesses to begin operating in (a) Wakefield and (b) West Yorkshire.

Answered on

11 June 2021

A wide range of support and funding is available in Wakefield and across West Yorkshire for businesses at all stages, from start-ups and early-stage companies to established businesses that are ready to expand and grow.

Start Up Loans, part of Government’s British Business Bank, provide government-backed loans and support for businesses who struggle to access other forms of finance. New businesses and those who have been trading for up to 24 months can apply. Since the scheme launched in 2012 to the end of April 2021, 308 loans have been approved worth £2,804,475. In the Wakefield constituency 94 loans have been delivered worth £739,389. In Yorkshire and the Humber, 7,160 loans have been delivered worth £64,629,043.

Business support in Wakefield and across West Yorkshire includes the Business Growth Programme 2021/22 which comprises capital investment grants for businesses that can deliver jobs growth and safeguarding focussed on productivity, innovation, digital, resource efficiency and new start enterprises. It is available to existing businesses and inward investors and is supported by £7m from Government’s Getting Building Fund, extending services provided to March 2021 through the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

The Ad:Venture programme - dedicated business start-up programme, with young West Yorkshire businesses benefitting from a tailored mix of practical advice, coaching, academic support, incubation work space, finance brokerage and low rate loans. To April 2021, 42 Wakefield businesses have benefitted from the programme, with £2.4m grant awarded to 489 businesses across the City Region.

The Entrepreneurship Support Package 2021 launching this summer will encourage people from all communities across West Yorkshire to set up new businesses and help them tap into the wider sources of support. The package will use at least £6m of investment funds provided by Government through the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal.

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Strategic Inward Investment service supports new investors and businesses to move into Wakefield and West Yorkshire. Government is also supporting two Enterprise Zone sites within Wakefield to attract new business investment and jobs in the region.

At Budget in March 2021, Government announced two Towns Fund deals in Wakefield district worth £49m, providing the tools and funding for places to design and deliver local economic growth priorities and encourage and facilitate new investment in Wakefield. The Government invited eight towns across West Yorkshire to develop investment plans and will be announcing further Towns Fund deals in due course.

With BEIS Growth Hub funding support, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s Business Support Service provides a single point of access to a wide range of national and local support and funding. The Government has also supported LEPs in England to create a network of 38 Growth Hubs which deliver impartial advice and support to businesses of all sizes and stages of growth and join up national and local offers. The Leeds City Region Growth Hub supports businesses across West Yorkshire and the Wakefield constituency. Businesses can search online www.the-lep.com/business-support, email businessgrowth@the-lep.com or call 0113 348 1818 to speak to an adviser by telephone.