Monday, April 22, 2024

New council aims to burst on the scene with business advice for its 32,000 SMEs

Creation of the new North Yorkshire Council, which will take control in the region on April 1st, is being seen as a defining opportunity to co-ordinate economic development in the county.

And the thousands of independent businesses forming the foundations of North Yorkshire’s economy are to be offered support to help them navigate dramatic rises in running costs amid the soaring rate of inflation.

Support for businesses will be a key role for the new North Yorkshire Council, says Executive member for open to business, Cllr Derek Bastiman: “The thousands of SMEs across North Yorkshire are vital for the county’s economic prosperity.

“There have been unprecedented challenges in recent years which have placed huge pressures on all businesses, whether that be down to the Covid-19 pandemic or the rising inflation which everyone has seen during the cost of living crisis.

“The new council will provide us with an opportunity to bring together the experience, expertise and good practice that already exists across all the authorities in North Yorkshire. This will mean that there will be one point of contact for businesses to access support for skills, training, recruitment and access to funding, which will be of a huge benefit at such a challenging time economically.”

The new council is developing a clear economic growth strategy while consulting with businesses and stakeholders across North Yorkshire. It will also help achieve an ambition for York and North Yorkshire to become the country’s first carbon negative region, meaning more carbon dioxide emissions would be removed from the atmosphere than are emitted.

The new council will be launched on April 1 and involve a merger of existing seven district and borough authorities in the biggest shake-up of local government since 1974 to pave the way for a devolution deal.

The council says it will work alongside the county’s six MPs to lobby the Government for the best possible opportunities for businesses, ensuring that Ministers understand the issues that affect the county’s economy.

The new council will continue to work in close partnership with the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), as well as City of York Council, as they prepare for the proposed mayoral combined authority.

Benefits already realised through a proposed devolution deal announced by the Government last year are £12.9 million for housing through the Brownfield Housing Fund and £7 million for low-carbon projects via the Net Zero Fund, both of which have been launched in York and North Yorkshire.

LEP Chair Helen Simpson said: “We’re excited to continue this collaborative working with the new North Yorkshire Council and ensure that business support is easy to access and available across the whole of North Yorkshire.

“The York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub, which is part of the LEP, has worked closely with district and county council colleagues for several years to help provide local support for businesses.

“We’re also committed to building the Invest in York and North Yorkshire inward investment proposition, a partnership initiative designed to attract new business investment into the region.”

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