The UK Government has revealed the areas of the UK which have successfully secured Assisted Area status.
Assisted Area status enables businesses within each applicable town or city to bid for additional funding and tax breaks to create jobs, invest in new premises or machinery and take their business forward.
Busy manufacturing centres such as Portsmouth, Derby, Scunthorpe and Huddersfield have made the cut, in addition to large areas of the North East of England, South Yorkshire, Merseyside, Strathclyde, the West Midlands and the Welsh Valleys.
Michael Fallon, the UK’s Business Minister, said: “Assisted Area status can be a shot in the arm for growth and jobs across the UK.
“It makes local businesses eligible to bid for additional funding and support that can help them to create jobs, invest in new premises or machinery, develop and grow.
“We listened carefully to local groups to identify places where regional aid can have the biggest impact and help to rebalance the economy. The regeneration of a range of industrial centres, coastal and urban areas has been given a boost today.”
The leading cities of Leeds and Manchester have also been added to the Assisted Areas map in an effort to drive business growth across the North. Coastal towns such as Lowestoft, Hastings, Blackpool and Arbroath have also been acknowledged to promote regeneration in these once bustling areas.
Local firms within Assisted Area towns and cities can apply for regional aid, which is widely offered as capital investment. Programmes which offer regional aid to Assisted Area regions in England include the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).
It is important for small business owners to note that being located in an Assisted Area does not guarantee regional aid funding. Businesses in other parts of the country will still be offered support through the RGF, AMSCI and other initiatives.
The Assisted Area status map is still subject to Commission approval and is expected to take full effect later this summer.
Image: University of Salford
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