News - 02 May 2014

Additional funding and tax breaks likely to be available after confirmation of Assisted Area status

Significant areas of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are among a number of parts of the country which have been designated with Assisted Area status.

The status makes local businesses eligible to bid for additional funding and tax breaks to create jobs, invest in new premises or machinery and grow.

Manufacturing centres including Derby, Huddersfield, Portsmouth and Scunthorpe have now been added to the Assisted Areas map.

This should help create jobs and encourage investment in premises and machinery through capital allowances and additional tax breaks for businesses.

Assisted Area designation was a major component of the D2N2 LEP Strategic Economic Plan, and comes after a significant campaign from the LEP to secure support for areas of opportunity as well as areas of need.

D2N2 Chief Executive David Ralph said: “Assisted Area Status is an important tool in providing support to firms to locate and invest throughout the area.

“Whilst the case to locate and invest in your business in the D2N2 area is compelling, additional financial incentives can help seal the deal.

“We have been supported in our case to broaden assisted area coverage across the D2N2 area and specifically focus on areas of unrealised opportunities as well as deprivation.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon MP said: “Assisted Area status can be a shot in the arm for growth and jobs across the UK. It makes local businesses eligible to bid for additional funding and support that can help them to create jobs, invest in new premises or machinery, develop and grow.

“We listened carefully to local groups to identify places where regional aid can have the biggest impact and help to rebalance the economy. The regeneration of a range of industrial centres, coastal and urban areas has been given a boost today.”

Assisted Area status makes businesses eligible to apply for regional aid, which is typically offered as capital investment for businesses in less prosperous local economies. Programmes in England that offer regional aid include the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).

Assisted Area status does not guarantee regional aid funding. Businesses in other parts of the country can still receive support, including RGF and AMSCI, for a wide range of projects.

Eligible areas were selected based on a combination of economic need and economic opportunity. Places with the potential for business growth, particularly manufacturing, have been favoured.

There have been two consultations on which areas should qualify, with input from Local Enterprise Partnerships and local authorities ensuring that local intelligence was a key driver in the process.

The government’s Assisted Areas map is still subject to European Commission approval and is expected to take effect on 1 July 2014.

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