Gainsborough district authority unites with sister councils to offer business support
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The collaboration follows a significant reduction in funding for the BLGH – previously, the BLGH received about £20 million through the European Regional Development Fund, but the UK Government’s transition from ERDF to the UK Shared Prosperity Funds has led to a substantial decrease in funding.
A report to Lincolnshire Council said, despite the reduced money, the UKSPF would offer a broader range of project support, including community and skills assistance, in addition to business support.
West Lindsey, Lincoln, North Kesteven and South Kesteven councils have chosen to participate in the Business Lincolnshire UKSPF shared service, which is set to be funded until the end of March 2025.
It will utilise the core services of Business Lincolnshire, provided by the county council’s enterprise growth team.
The core service relies on council budgets and a £316,625 grant from the Department for Business and Trade for 2023-24.
According to the report: “The service aims to provide a universal core business support service that incorporates as much as possible from the [previous] program to meet thematic and sector priorities, reducing the proliferation of individual services and helping reduce patchwork provision.”
Local businesses in Lincolnshire are facing ongoing economic challenges, including rising costs, supply chain issues, and recruitment difficulties.
The shared service aims to provide a universal offering accessible to all businesses, regardless of their location, complemented with additional advisory support funded through alternative sources, in an effort to ensure Lincolnshire businesses receive the assistance they require to prosper.