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3. The following provides details of the range of support available to businesses at a national and regional level. It should be noted that it is not possible to provide Coventry specific data in many cases, as data are not routinely available at a local level and schemes do not generally distinguish between small and medium sized firms.
4. Support available includes government guaranteed lending under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, the Capital for Enterprise Fund, the RDA Transition Loan Funds and a series of other financial measures instituted to help businesses with their cash flow such as the Prompt Payment Code, Top-up Trade Credit Insurance. Other key measures put in place include the Help for Business Helpline and special help to the automotive sector including scrappage and the Automotive Assistance Programme. The following provides details of the take up of this support at national level. Figures on take up are provided for the West Midlands where available.
A total of 226 companies were considered urgent enough to require Government intervention by MPs and Peers who referred cases to the Help for Business helpline. 155 of the total cases were identified as SMEs; 29 from the West Midlands.
BIS officials have been in direct contact with over 90 companies, which is around 2/3rds of all companies who qualify for the support package. To date, officials have worked with over 20 companies on their formal expressions of interest.
5. Key initiatives are set out in the following table along with details of the level of support provided to businesses in the Coventry and Warwickshire area during 2007-08 and 2008-09 (Coventry data are in italics where they are available).
|Key business initiatives|
The Advantage Transition Bridge Fund reopened in November 2008. To date, it has made offers of loans totalling £9.3 million to 55 businesses. Of these, 9 businesses were located in Coventry and Warwickshire, who received loan offers totalling £1,405,000.
The business doctor service (which operated during February and March 2009) sought to address the immediate needs of businesses affected by the economic conditions. The service was targeted at providing face to face support on key issues, including strategy development, marketing, financial management etc. A small element of grant funded specialist support to help businesses access advice on financial restructuring and recovery measures was also provided. This initiative delivered specialist support to 140 businesses across the region (sub regional breakdown not available), awarding £340,000 in grant funding.
6. The Coventry and Warwickshire sub-region has significant strengths in innovation being home to Coventry University and the University of Warwick, as well as clusters of high growth industries including ICT, digital media and medical technologies. The area benefits from region wide innovation activity, supported by AWM, such as Innovation Networks, Grant for Research and Development, the Index Voucher Scheme and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. Also, going forward Business Link West Midlands is developing the Innovation Advisory Service to work with partners (including MAS) to offer a range of innovation support to business.
20 Research and Development Grants, totalling £0.7 million.
Development of a world-class research and development park at Ansty, which has already attracted Ericsson's international R and D department. Ansty has also been identified as the location for the National Manufacturing Technology Centre.
Part funding the University of Warwick's flagship scheme-The Digital Lab. This centre includes visualisation and simulation technologies and brings together some of the world's top academics in digital technologies working on digital manufacturing and digital healthcare and space for companies to work with researchers.
The launch of the Serious Games Institute and Health Design Technologies Institutes at Coventry Universities. Both of these centres have strong business links and are in key areas of regional industry strength/growth.
Development of Centres of Excellence in lightweight vehicles at Warwick University; this builds on AWM's funded Premium Auto Research and Development Programme (PARD) at the University.
Under the AWM led Science City Programme of activity, Warwick University are leading three projects: Energy Efficiency (around £9 million for sustainable building and transport technologies-heat pumps, power electronics and automotive and rail applications); Translational Medicine (clinical trialling leading to improvements-particularly in obesity, diabetes, heart disease etc.) and Advanced Materials two (innovative uses of new materials including sensors in harsh environments, composites in transport applications and smart bio-materials).
Coventry University was involved in a Science City demonstrator project on Intelligent Vehicles-using wireless technologies to position vehicles for trialling/testing. This led to a joint venture between two of the region's companies (one Coventry based).
The universities of Coventry and Warwick are also involved in a number of other AWM innovation support interventions including Innovation Vouchers, Innovation Networks (led by Coventry University) and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
8. Additionally, UKTI through its Passport to Export Scheme has targeted and assisted seven research and development intensive companies. More generally, working with Coventry University Enterprise, UKTI also provides a range of training and support programmes to help businesses in Coventry and across the region.
9. The following table provides an overview of support provided in the Coventry and Warwickshire area over 2007-08 and 2008-09, unless otherwise stated. Coventry specific data are provided where available.
10. Under the Advantage Graduate Scheme, AWM also collaborates with partners to produce a brochure detailing regional job opportunities which is available to all final year students in the West Midlands. The 2009 edition contains a list of 1,000 business in the West Midlands who are interested in employing graduates, over 100 of which are in Coventry.
11. In terms of Leadership and Management skills, AWM supports a brokerage service delivered by Business Link that targets leadership and management support at middle tier aspirational businesses. The service works with management teams to improve business performance. So far six teams have been supported in Coventry-approximately 10 per cent. of the total number.
Kevin Brennan [holding answer 24 June 2009]: Through Business Link Yorkshire, small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Leeds can access the wide range of mainstream Government business support products and services. In 2008-09 Business Link Yorkshire dealt with 14,727 requests for advice and support from SMEs in the Leeds local authority area.
The Government have delivered on their commitment to simplify support with the roll out of the Solutions for Business portfolio of services. Solutions for Business offers a comprehensive and streamlined package of 30 publicly funded support products for SMEs.
Additional support has been made available to help SMEs during these tough economic times through Real Help Now for Businesses. This includes business financial health checks and a rapid response service to help SMEs hit hardest by the recession. The rapid response service provides support to people recently made redundant or facing redundancy to help them find new jobs or consider starting a business.
The full suite of business support services is routinely delivered in Leeds, including: advice, guidance and practical financial support with business start-ups, support for entrepreneurs and innovators with information on how to develop and explore their ideas, from inspiration to planning, to research, marketing, launch, business growth and exporting. Jobcentre Plus assists local businesses with recruitment and training and the LSC provides Train to Gain and apprenticeship funding.
Leeds secured £20.6 million from the Government's Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) in 2006. The Leeds LEGI programme-known locally as "Sharing the Success"-aims to develop enterprise, create new jobs and boost prosperity in some of the most disadvantaged communities and runs until March 2011. "Sharing the Success" is funding a wide range of community based initiatives including a network of local enterprise centres, business start up advice and a business growth fund for existing businesses.
Leeds Chamber of Commerce and Leeds City Council have formed a partnership-Enterprise Leeds-which brings together a range of business support organisations. They include Leeds Media, China Britain Business Council, Business Link Yorkshire and the West Yorkshire Employer Coalition Through Enterprise Leeds, businesses and entrepreneurs in the city can access a wide range of services including:
finding business premises in Leeds
information and advice to business advice and support organisations
business support for start ups; existing businesses and inward investors
business development and support for minority ethnic businesses
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Tamworth constituency have (a) applied for and (b) received funding from (i) the Enterprise Finance Guarantee and (ii) the Working Capital Scheme to date. 
Kevin Brennan: The Department records information on the Enterprise Finance Guarantee on a regional basis, including the West Midlands. It does not hold the information at the requested level and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Number||Value (£ million)|
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