To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support small business growth in (a) Coventry North East constituency and (b) Coventry.
1 March 2022
We have a clear commitment to level up all areas of the country. The Levelling Up White Paper builds on the important work to level up the country set out in our 'Plan for Growth', coupled with the Innovation Strategy and the recent Net Zero Strategy. Boosting productivity, pay, jobs, and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in places where they are lagging, is one of the four key objectives for levelling up, and BEIS will have a key role in delivering on this ambition.
In 2020, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) was allocated £66m from the Getting Building Fund for a wide-ranging package of projects that will deliver a much-needed boost to the local economy. The Getting Building Fund will deliver growth for the local economy and support green recovery for a wide-ranging package of projects, fulfilling the government role in creating the conditions for businesses to develop and grow alongside the funding for the infrastructure needed to do this. This included £6.09 million towards Completing the Cultural Capital to help maximise the benefits of Coventry City of Culture. These benefits will be felt across all of Coventry and its constituencies.
In 2021 the West Midlands Combined Authority was also awarded £766,332 from the Community Renewal Fund for the Coventry Creative Growth and Cultural Tourism Recovery Programme, an integrated business, skills and employment support package targeting Coventry’s cultural sectors, including creative industries, tourism, events, and businesses/freelancers supplying these sectors, providing support throughout the area.
In addition, small business growth will be supported through investment in the Coventry Heritage Action Zone, working in partnership with Coventry City Council, Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and others to promote investment and bring business opportunities. Coventry has also benefitted from their status as City of Culture 2021, for which a significant part of the work helped to build capacity so the cultural scene in the city is financially and environmentally sustainable.
Additionally, across Coventry and Warwickshire the government has invested £131.84 million from Local Growth Deals. This included projects which directly supported local business, for example £1.3m to support a Business Investment Fund providing direct grants to businesses, and £1 million to expand Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering support to connect supply chain and wider business community, expanding capabilities, skills and innovation activities. Across the Local Enterprise Partnership, the Local Growth Fund has generated around £220 million in public and private investment.