20 September 2012

Northamptonshire has been named the most enterprising place in Britain by the government department responsible for supporting economic growth in the country.

The blue-riband prize was given to Northamptonshire County Council for its innovative approach to boosting prosperity in the county particularly its work in safeguarding the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and success in supporting local businesses through initiatives such as the INV-ENT scheme.

The authority also picked up an award for encouraging export through its work with Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership and the establishment of a European investment team based in Brussels.

The Enterprising Britain competition was run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and was looking for the place that could best demonstrate a positive impact of enterprise on the community over the past two years.

The announcement was made by Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon during the MADE entrepreneurial festival in Sheffield on Thursday (September 20).

Councillor Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council said: “To be named the most enterprising place in Britain is a wonderful achievement for Northamptonshire and recognises our innovative and long term approach to delivering economic prosperity across Northamptonshire.

“Not only is our ‘Prosperity Agenda’ helping to support local businesses, attract inward investment and create new jobs, it has also been widely praised by businesses who have benefited greatly from schemes such as Inv-Ent.

“With over 60 years of motorsport heritage in Northamptonshire, it is important that we as a County Council do all we can to support and promote our world class motor sport industry, which has Silverstone at its heart. Not only did our support help to secure the British Grand Prix for seventeen years, it also helped to deliver the new Wing Complex giving the circuit truly world class facilities.

“Clearly our work with Silverstone is but one example of the many initiatives we have implemented which are helping to drive our prosperity agenda forward . We are also determined that businesses across the County are able to compete internationally and build strong trade links with Europe and beyond. Our office in Brussels, for example has already proved to be a valuable asset and is helping to raise Northamptonshire’s profile internationally and attract inward investment

“Such innovations are delivering real improvements across Northamptonshire and I am very proud that our innovative approach has been endorsed by the government.”

Northamptonshire County Council will now go on to represent the UK at this year’s European Enterprise Promotion Awards for ‘improving the business environment’.

The awards are run by the European Commission and take place in Nicosia, Cyprus on 15 November 2012, which is during Global Entrepreneurship Week.