14 December 2010

A cash injection of £2m to help boost the county’s economy, attract businesses to the area and safeguard and create jobs is proposed in Northamptonshire County Council’s draft budget published today.

A total £2m would be invested into the Northamptonshire Economic Investment Fund to help make sure support is given to the county’s businesses to help them grow while also helping attract new private sector investment in the county.

The new cash is aimed at making sure that Northamptonshire is in the best possible place to grow quickly from the recession.

Leader of the council Cllr Jim Harker said: “This budget proposal clearly shows the country, Europe and indeed the world that Northamptonshire is open for business.

“We know what testing times these are. But it is even more essential in times such as these that investment is provided to help businesses and the private sector grow and to help build a real and lasting prosperity in the county.

“These proposals would allow us to safeguard and protect jobs, attract new businesses to Northamptonshire and establish vital links into Europe and beyond to secure funding and support trade.”

The Northamptonshire Economic Investment fund will support Northamptonshire Enterprise Ltd (NEL) as the county’s economic development body and enterprise partnership.

The main activities carried out by the fund will include:

  • Supporting Northamptonshire businesses
  • Facilitating new business start-ups
  • Attracting new businesses
  • Investing in employment sites and infrastructure
  • Attract inward investment through marketing the county

Cllr Harker said: “I am especially keen on the idea of setting up one or more pilot Enterprise Zones in the county where businesses could receive financial and other incentives and support from the county council to help them to invest in innovation and new jobs.

“This initiative would be unique to Northamptonshire. Further details will be released in the New Year.

“We are setting some very tough and tangible targets for this work. In the first year alone we want to see this create up to 800 private sector jobs, attract 15 new businesses to the county and establish a dedicated Brussels and International resource to attract more.

“I have every confidence with the funding we are providing for this work these targets will be reached.”