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SEEDA is providing up to £3 million in a new Regional Transition Fund known as the Bridging Mezzanine Debt Fund to be directed at fully established, viable and
growing businesses that are currently facing difficulties in obtaining credit through banks and other traditional routes.
Funding is provided at commercial rates for these unsecured loans, and interest is rolled up and paid at maturity, thereby making the Fund attractive to some businesses urgently needing to address liquidity problems.
The overall emphasis of interventions within Milton Keynes was capacity building, particularly in line with skills, learning and employability with a focus on NEET young people (not in employment, education or training). The largest project was 'Routes to Success' which was based on the development of transparent progression routes for residents, including outreach links, IAG in local communities, then leading to open days, short skills sessions and courses, finally moving to specialist training.
SEEDA funds rural programmes in Milton Keynes including Farm Diversification and Rural Redundant Building schemes. In addition SEEDA manages £60 million Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) EU Programme (previously termed ERDP).
The rural Leader programme for Milton Keynes is within the North Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes area. This wholly EU funded programme is aimed at farmers and forestry diversification with a strong element of community projects.
These are senior executives seconded to UK Trade and Investment from industry spearheading the Government's export drive, helping small and medium-sized enterprises and larger companies to win business around the world. They are available for free consultations and can offer practical exporting advice, information on specific opportunities in markets and sectors.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Perth and North Perthshire constituency (a) have sought access to funds under and (b) are receiving assistance from the Working Capital Scheme. 
Pete Wishart: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Perth and North Perthshire constituency (a) have sought access to funds under and (b) are receiving assistance from the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme. 
|Perth and North Perthshire|
Mike Penning: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire (i) have sought access to funding under and (ii) are receiving assistance from the Working Capital Scheme. 
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps the Government have taken to assist small businesses to pay their business rates. 
On 31 July 2009 the Non-Domestic Rating (Deferred Payments) (England) Regulations 2009 came into force to enable businesses to defer until 2010-11 and 2011-12 payment of 3 per cent. their total 2009-10 business rate bills and, additionally, 60 per cent. of the increase in bills caused by the ending of the transitional relief scheme for the 2005 revaluation period.
Billing authorities sent all ratepayers a flyer about these regulations. This also contained information about the Small Business Rate Relief scheme which allows eligible businesses to claim up to 50 per cent. relief on their rates bills.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many times the Secretary of State has received hospitality from representatives of the (a) automotive, (b) aerospace, (c) financial services, (d) fast moving consumer goods, (e) digital media, (f) mail service, (g) cleantech and (h) the music industries since his appointment to post; on what dates such hospitality was received; and who attended each such event. 
Mr. McFadden: My noble Friend the Secretary of State notifies his permanent secretary of any hospitality he receives and as necessary declares it in the Register of Peers' Interests, in accordance with the provisions of the ministerial code.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies paid in end-of-year performance bonuses to (i) all staff and (ii) senior Civil Service staff in 2008-09; and how many such payments were made. 
Mr. McFadden: Performance-related pay is designed to help drive high performance and support better public service delivery. Performance awards reward high performance sustained throughout the year, and are non-pensionable and non-consolidated.
|Performance awards SCS( 1)||Performance awards: below SCS( 1)|
|Financial year( 2)||Number of staff receiving||Total value (£)||Number of staff receiving||Total value (£)|
|(1) The annual performance awards are paid on a non-consolidated, non-pensionable basis and do not increase the Department's pay-bill costs each year. For the SCS, the Senior Salaries Review Body determines the level of expenditure to cover bonuses.|
(2) Financial year running from 1 April to 31 March.
(3) Includes staff who were transferred from BERR to DECC as part of the October 2008 machinery of government changes as these staff received a BERR pay award in 2008.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans the Government has to implement the provisions of the EU Agency Workers Directive in the UK; and what timetable has been set for implementation of those provisions. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 9 September 2009]: The recent Consultation, which closed on 31 July, invited views on proposals for implementing the Agency Workers Directive in a way which meets the Government's twin objective of ensuring appropriate protection for agency workers while maintaining a flexible labour market. The Consultation also invited views on when the implementing legislation should come into effect, and why. Following the Consultation, we will publish the Government's response setting out how we intend to proceed, and invite views as appropriate, as well as consult on the draft regulations.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with trade union representatives on the EU Agency Workers Directive since October 2008; which trade unions were represented in each such discussion; and on what date each such discussion took place. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 9 September 2009]: I have had no meetings with trade unions on the specific topic of the EU Agency Workers Directive since October 2008, however, officials have spoken to both the TUC and business organisations in the development of our consultation document on this issue.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills when the Government plans to announce its decisions following its consultation on the EU Agency Workers Directive. 
Mr. McFadden: Following the consultation which closed on 31 July, we are evaluating all the responses before any key decisions are taken. We will shortly publish the Government's response to the consultation and seek views on draft implementing legislation.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many applications have been made to the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme; and how many of these have met the eligibility criteria. 
Kevin Brennan: As of 12 August, of the over 6,600 cases which have been logged on the Enterprise Finance Guarantee web portal, more than 6,000 firms have been granted, being processed, or assessed, over £680 million. So far, over 4,500 businesses have been offered loans totalling over £450 million.
Businesses may apply for a loan from one of the participating lenders who will assess which form of lending, including the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), is most appropriate. EFG is open to small and medium enterprises with a turnover of less than £25 million and is designed to operate at the margins of banks' normal lending activity to SMEs, allowing lenders to provide additional loans to viable companies that are at the margins of commercial lending, because they have insufficient security or their proposal involves a higher risk of loss at default.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many discussions the Secretary of State has had with representatives of the (a) automotive, (b) aerospace, (c) engineering, (d) fast moving consumer goods, (e) cleantech, (f) mail service and (g) music industries since his appointment to post; on what dates such discussions took place; and who the industry representatives were on each such occasion. 
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate UK Trade and Investment has made of the number of occasions on which representatives or agents of UK business have had discussions with (a) the government of Libya and (b) Libyan businesses and their representatives in the last two years. 
(a) UKTI estimates such contacts with the Government of Libya would be in the region of 500 to 1,000.
(b) UKTI's estimate is that such contacts in the last two years would be in the thousands. The British Business Group in Libya now numbers some 100 members, about half of which are resident in Libya. There have been a series of trade missions by UK business associations over the past two years.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on how many occasions employees or representatives of UK Trade and Investment have had discussions with representatives or agents of (a) the Libyan Government and (b) Libyan businesses in the last two years. 
(a) There were UKTI organised visits to Libya by the Duke of York as Special Representative for International Trade and Investment in November 2007, the then Lord Mayor of the City of London in March 2008 and the then Minister of State for Trade and Investment in May 2008, all involved various contacts with the Libyan Government. Mr Shokri Ghanem, Chairman of the Libyan NOC was hosted by UKTI during his visit to the UK in November 2008. UKTI arranged an event in London on 20 July 2009 where Dr Bashir Saleh Bashir, Chairman of the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio and delegation addressed and met a range of British companies.
There have been regular UKTI visits to Libya, as well as meetings with representatives of the Libyan Government visiting the UK. There have been very regular contacts with the Libyan Government by the UKTI team in Tripoli. It is not possible to place a figure on the number of times there have been such contacts without a very detailed analysis, the costs of which would exceed the limit for answering parliamentary questions.
(b) The UKTI team in Tripoli have several contacts daily with Libyan businesses in the course of their work to support British companies seeking business in Libya. Contacts by other members of UKTI would number around 50 to 100.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what contribution UK Trade and Investment has made to each ministerial visit to Libya in the last two years. 
[holding answer 9 September 2009]: The then Minister of State for Trade and Investment visited Libya in May 2008. UKTI arranged his programme,
briefing and the follow up. For other ministerial visits the UKTI team in Tripoli assisted with arrangements for relevant parts of the programme and UKTI HQ in London provided standard written background briefing on trade and investment.
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