11 December 2012

Making Northamptonshire a prosperous county by creating the conditions for accelerated business growth is a key priority for Northamptonshire County Council.

Despite the prevailing challenging economic conditions this year the county has seen real progress and several successes in laying the foundations for growth.

Today (December 11) Cabinet will discuss a report on the Kickstart Northamptonshire County Prosperity Deal – a strategy to be presented to government outlining how the county council will stimulate business development.

This builds on the work already done which, earlier this year, led to the authority being named as the most enterprising place in Britain.

Further to this, the council’s INV-ENT scheme which offers a £20,000 business rate rebate to small and medium-sized firms, has also be shortlisted for a prestigious Local Government Chronicle award.

Cllr Jim Harker, Leader of the county council, said: “We are absolutely determined as a county council to make Northamptonshire the place to be for business and I am committed to doing whatever it takes to create the conditions for economic growth.

“Despite being out of recession these are still very difficult times but already we are starting to see things turn around in a more positive direction.

“This is about finding clever solutions to the problems that we face and using our influence as a county council to lever in private investment and build business confidence.”

Details of how the county council can help stimulate growth can be found in the cabinet report but include measures such as using innovative funding packages to kickstart infrastructure projects.

The roll-out of superfast broadband across the whole county, including hard-to-reach rural areas, is also seen as pivotal in attracting investment into the county.

Further work includes removing red tape to aid business start-ups and helping entrepreneurs and emerging businesses to be able to access the right finance so their ambitions can come to fruition.

In addition, creating the right skills base and harnessing the potential of young people particularly in science, technology, engineering and maths, is also core in ensuring the workforce is well equipped to compete in the global economy.