Government announces new Assisted Area status regions

Posted on 30 Apr 2014 by Callum Bentley

The Government has today announced the latest regions included in the Assisted Areas map that are now eligible to bid for additional funding and benefits.

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

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

The new inclusions will join other areas including large parts of north-east England, south Yorkshire, Merseyside, Strathclyde, the west Midlands and the Welsh Valleys, which were already benefiting from being on the map.

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).

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 2 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 has also added Leeds and Manchester to the map to help drive business growth across the north of England. And coastal towns such as Arbroath, Blackpool, Hastings and Lowestoft have also been included on the new map to help promote regeneration.

Business Minister Michael Fallon 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.”

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