Cuts watch #103: Business support slashed in Yorkshire
As Government seeks to encourage the “crowding-in of the private sector” it has ordered Yorkshire Forward to make cuts of £40.27m from its £270m business support budget this year (15%).
Business Link, which provides free, impartial advice to firms, loses £4.5m. £1m has been pulled from a scheme which provides loans of up to £25,000 to businesses in deprived areas. £2.7m goes from the Response to Redundancies programme, which aims to support people who have been made, or are at risk of being made, redundant.
The Business Link network is to be phased out along with RDAS, according to BIS Minister Mark Prisk. Business Link loses £1.5m earmarked for ‘innovation advisors’ working with regional companies in the bioscience, chemicals and healthcare technology sectors. The Northern Way, a 20-year Government strategy to transform the economy of the North of England, funded by the North’s three RDAS, will have £660,000 of its funding cut by Yorkshire Forward.
£100,000 is cut from the budgets of business support projects Marketing Leeds, the city’s strategic marketing organisation, Yorkshire Futures, which aims to provide a collaborative approach to research, and Financial Leeds, the body formed to support the growth of the financial services sector in Leeds. Numerous regeneration and public realm projects also face uncertain futures.
A scheme to improve Barnsley town centre’s Gateway Plaza scheme is to have £1.21m of funding deferred; the Tower Works development scheme in Leeds is to have £2.4m deferred; and Bradford’s City Park will have also £1.3m deferred. £938,000 of Yorkshire Forward funding for public realm work in Rotherham has also been deferred.