Small Businesses In Line For Economic Boost From Regional Cash Funds

Local Economies Lined Up For £6 Billion Investment

07.07.2014

Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

SMEs are set to benefit from a series of new 'growth deals' aimed at pumping money into infrastructure, homebuilding and training projects in the regions.

Unveiled by the government as a means of increasing growth in areas outside London and the south-east, the investment includes £6 billion of projects announced today (July 7th). This incorporates the £2 billion growth fund money for 2015 and 2016 and a number of long-term projects, including 20 new railway stations, 150 new roads and 150 housing developments.

Among the specific undertakings are a £50 million public transport package for Greater Manchester - which includes £18 million for upgrades to the Metrolink tram network, a £23 million road tunnel from Swindon to Winchelstowe and funds to help Birmingham make the most of the arrival of HS2.

In addition to that, the fund will provide support for SMEs to help them grow and create jobs, with this being tailored according to local needs by each local enterprise partnership.

Some of the infrastructure funding will also help SMEs in remote areas - such as rural parts of the north-east - that use online services through the extension of superfast broadband services.

Prime minister David Cameron remarked: "For too long our economy has been too London-focused and too centralised. Growth deals will help change all that. They are about firing up our great cities, towns and counties so they can become powerhouses.

"By trusting local people, backing business and investing in infrastructure, skills and housing, we can create thousands of new jobs."

The announcement is the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at boosting economies in areas outside the capital, particularly regional cities.

Last week saw the announcement of a £500 million city deal for Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, which will include funding for a rail link from the city centre to Glasgow Airport.

Chancellor George Osborne has also announced new transport initiatives for the Merseyside area and flagged up the prospect of a third high-speed rail line to link Manchester and Leeds.

Expert Opinion
Small businesses are often referred to as the lifeblood and a key driver of the economy, so it is not wholly unsurprising to see the Government pushing forward with initiatives which will support the SME community.

"Such plans will be particularly welcomed by entrepreneurs and talent based outside of the capital, with the obvious drive being to tap into this pool and ensure that such individuals and ambitious organisations in regions are able to access the help they need to succeed.

"We would urge any SMEs and entrepreneurs looking to take the next step forward in their development to seek legal advice, with the primary aim of ensuring they are meeting their compliance needs and are in the best possible position for future growth."
Steven Beahan, Partner