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DEVELOPMENT BOOST FOR ELLESMERE PORT AS IT GAINS EUROPEAN ASSISTED AREA STATUS
2 June 2014 – Ellesmere Port has been granted Assisted Area status which will provide a big opportunity for local businesses and enterprises who will be eligible for additional levels of financial support for development through EU Regional Aid.
Over the past six months, Cheshire & Warrington Enterprise Partnership, working with the Ellesmere Port Development Board and Cheshire West and Chester Council, has applied to Government for Ellesmere Port to be granted Assisted Area status under the European Commission’s Regional Aid Guidelines for 2014-2020.
Assisted Area status will enable access to a greater level of funding from UK and European sources and will help to accelerate economic recovery and drive sustainable growth as well as provide the potential to attract new investment to the area. The government plans to implement the new guidelines in to UK legislation by July 2014.
A key part of the bid’s success was Ellesmere Port’s evolving manufacturing infrastructure – which has experienced major changes since the 1980s. The past few years has seen the town attract a raft of new businesses, secure major funding boosts, see key improvements works and create thousands of new jobs locally.
Robert Mee, Chairman of Ellesmere Port Development Board said: “I am delighted that our application for Assisted Area status has been successful and it will definitely help to secure continual economic growth for both our existing businesses and those looking to locate to the area.
“We have demonstrated our ability to attract inward investment and we will be working in partnership with businesses to ensure they understand the opportunities that Assisted Area status brings.”
Christine Gaskell, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington Enterprise Partnership commented: “Cheshire and Warrington Enterprise Partnership has worked hard with our partners in the Department for Business and Innovation (BIS), Cheshire West and Chester Council, Ellesmere Port Development Board and the private sector to make a compelling case for Assisted Area status.
“This funding will help to attract new jobs and investment to the area and our priority is to work with our partners to ensure that local residents will also benefit from this funding.”
Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Councillor Mike Jones, said: “It is our responsibility to maximise the prosperity and productivity of businesses in Ellesmere Port and Assisted Area status presents a real opportunity to do just that.
“Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills backed our claim because they believe that with it we can accelerate further success and we look forward to seeing the impact that the funding will have on Ellesmere Port and the surrounding area.”
Local member for Ellesmere Port, Councillor Justin Madders, said: “Today’s announcement will create real opportunities for our town’s existing business and indeed attract more companies to the area.
“Assisted Area status will bring significant benefits to Ellesmere Port and I am delighted that by working together we have managed to achieve it.”
Assisted Area status permits the granting of additional financial support to small businesses and large enterprise to help unlock the growth potential in certain locations.
This support is to encourage business in these communities to grow, innovate and thrive, which can positively affect these locations and the whole UK economy.
An interactive map where you can search for Assisted Areas can be found at www.ukassistedareasmap.com.
Further detail on Assisted Area status can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-aid-assisted-areas-introduction
Government’s response to the Stage 2 consultation remains available from: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/assisted-areas-map-2014-to-2020-stage-2.