Businesses set to benefit from EU decision

MP Andy Sawford has welcomed the news parts of his constituency are to get Assisted Area status

MP Andy Sawford has welcomed the news parts of his constituency are to get Assisted Area status

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More than 20 wards in Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire have been granted Assisted Area status by the European Commission.

The European Commission has now approved the UK’s proposed Regional Aid Guidelines map for Assisted Area status 2014-2020, which includes 22 wards within Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire. This means that businesses within these wards will now be able to access financial support that wasn’t previously available to them, providing a significant boost to Northamptonshire’s growth ambitions.

This approval follows Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership’s (NEP) request to Government that these wards were granted Assisted Area status, to support economic growth. The new map has full legal effect from July 1 and will run until December 31, 2020.

Corby MP Andy Sawford commented: “I campaigned for Assisted Area Status and it is good news that businesses in my constituency now have the opportunity to access vital funds to help them grow and create local jobs. Our priority now must be to raise awareness and support local businesses to come forward with bids as soon as possible.”

Cllr Jim Harker, leader of Northamptonshire County Council welcomed the news saying: “Northamptonshire is looking to grow our economy significantly and create a further 32,500 jobs by 2021. I am delighted that the UK Government responded to NEP’s request for inclusion on the Assisted Area map, and that the European Commission has now approved this. Over 100,000 people live and work within these wards, so this will provide a significant lift to the local economy.”

Jo Lappin, the chief executive of NEP said: “This news is a real boost to our ambitions to grow Northamptonshire’s economy further, faster. We will now be hosting events for businesses in the new assisted area to see how this can best help them. These events will take place in late June and will be advertised widely to local businesses.”

Cllr Derek Zanger, portfolio holder for regeneration at Kettering Council, said: “I am delighted that a number of wards within Kettering borough have been included on the new Assisted Area map, which will help our local businesses to grow and create jobs. The areas covered in Kettering include many of our largest employment estates and all the employment land which will be part of the East Kettering development, so we have maximised the number of businesses who can take advantage of Assisted Area Status.”

Cllr Steven North, leader of East Northamptonshire Council, said: “This is great news for East Northamptonshire and we’re looking forward to seeing existing and new businesses benefit from the financial support which will become available to them.”

The full list of wards is:

Corby: Central Ward, East Ward, Rowlett Ward, Shire Lodge Ward, Stanion and Corby Village Ward, Weldon and Gretton Ward

East Northamptonshire: King’s Forest Ward

Kettering: Barton Ward, Burton Latimer Ward, Northfield Ward, St Michael’s and Wicksteed Ward, St Peter’s Ward, William Knibb Ward, Queen Eleanor and Buccleuch Ward

Wellingborough : Castle Ward, Hemmingwell Ward, Irchester Ward, North Ward, Redwell West Ward, Wollaston Ward, Queensway Ward, Swanspool Ward