Yorkshire and Humber business support safeguarded

19/10/2010

Regional Development Agency Yorkshire Forward is in negotiations to extend the Business Link Yorkshire contract after securing approval from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills to provide continued funding beyond March 2011.

The current contract with Y&H IDB Ltd was due to end on 31 March 2011 but will now be extended for a further period, to bring the service in line with other regions.

In the light of budgetary constraints, the contract extension will see a much reduced service for both start up and established businesses.

In the mean time, Y&H IDB and Yorkshire Forward are finalising the details of the service across the region.

Simon Hill, Executive Director of Business at Yorkshire Forward, said: "We now believe we have secured the best solution available given the difficult times. We are pleased that businesses in the Yorkshire and Humber region will still have access to the excellent service and expertise offered by Business Link Yorkshire.”

Helen West, Chief Executive of Y & H IDB, said: “Whilst we are obviously disappointed that we will be implementing further cuts, we are pleased that the service will continue next year. As always, we remain absolutely committed to delivering the best service we can.”

Tony Pedder, Chairman concludes: “The staff at Business Link Yorkshire have done fantastic work over the past two and a half years – and the quality and impact of the services delivered has increased steadily month on month. Their commitment and dedication to our customers has been tremendous – evidenced by a customer satisfaction rating of 90%. As we look to restructure the organisation, we fully appreciate that the next couple of months will be worrying times, but we are committed to supporting our employees through this unsettling process.”

ENDS
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Murphy, Press Manager on 0113 3949904 or email Daniel.murphy@yorkshire-forward.com

Yorkshire Forward
• Yorkshire Forward is the Regional Development Agency behind the economic regeneration of Yorkshire and Humber. It aims to make a positive difference by investing in jobs, improving towns and cities, and in supporting businesses throughout the region.
• Yorkshire Forward’s investment across the region is maximised by attracting European Regional Development Funding from the Objectives One and Two programmes and the 2007-2013 Regional Competitiveness and Employment Programmes.
Notes to Editors:
England’s nine RDAs each run the Business Link contracts in their region, resulting in staggered contract end dates. Yorkshire Forward completed a review of business support prior to setting up our Business Link service, and as a consequence our contract was due to expire soonest.
 

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