09 January 2014

Northamptonshire County Council has been shortlisted for a national award for its work in bringing economic prosperity to the county.

The authority is one of the finalists in the Local Government Chronicle awards in the Driving Growth category.

What's the award for?

The council’s awards submission focussed on its work with Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, particularly on initiatives such as the INV-ENT fund.

The council has also set up strategic alliances with business partners including British Gas, in an innovative move to deliver local economic growth.

In the financial year 2012/13, 737 new jobs were created in Northamptonshire along with 60 business start ups and 13 company investments.

Leader of the county council, Cllr Jim Harker, said: “We’ve been working very hard to create the right conditions to bring increased economic growth to the county and I’m delighted that this has been recognised nationally.

“These have been very challenging times economically but we’re already starting to see signs of recovery and the potential for rapid expansion.

“We believe that a close working relationship with our local enterprise partnership has been paramount in our endeavours and our pioneering approach informing strategic alliances has also been key to our achievements.”

Successful projects

Another successful initiative has been Enterprise Hubs, which, based in libraries, offer coaching, advice and access to facilities (meeting rooms, IT, knowledge and information) to people interested in developing a business idea and taking it to market.

Other new projects include LOCATE which was launched in July 2013 and offers grants of up to £20k for ambitious and growing companies relocating or expanding their business into Northamptonshire,

As one of the finalists, the county council will next have to go through a further assessment process before the winner of the award is announced at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London, on March 12.