Mandelson gives �35m business start-up programme the green light

Support for 12,700 new businesses in the UK’s northwest has been announced by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, along with plans to create 23,000 jobs over five years

Over the past two months Mandelson has set out his vision for a new industrial activism. He explained the crucial role that regions will play in this vision and why initiatives like the Business Start Up programme are so important.

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 five 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
  • 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.”

People should contact Business link on 0845 00 66 888 or through http://www.businesslink.gov.uk

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