Businesses get million pound boost

BUSINESSES across St Edmundsbury are to benefit for more than £1.5million as a reward for the borough's strong economic growth.

Dave Gooderham

BUSINESSES across St Edmundsbury are to benefit for more than £1.5million as a reward for the borough's strong economic growth.

The seven-figure sum will be directly reinvested into the local economy over the next two years with those holding the purse strings pledging to support a “broad range of enterprises” to combat the current financial turmoil.

Almost £100,000 will also be spent on improving the town centres in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill.

Cllr Nigel Aitkens, St Edmundsbury Borough Council's cabinet member for economy and asset management, said: “We are among a minority of councils in the country to reinvest this money in the way that it was actually intended - to improve the economic prosperity of our area.

“Now that it is becoming more apparent how businesses will be affected by the current economic conditions, we are allocating the funding to support as broad a range of enterprises as possible to maintain a thriving and vibrant economy throughout these difficult times.”

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The bulk of the money comes from the Government's Local Authority Business Growth Incentive Scheme (LABGI) which rewards local authorities in accordance with the economic growth of their area. The scheme allows successful councils to retain revenue increases derived from business rates.

St Edmundsbury has been highlighted as having a “strong economic profile” and received £1,174,417 over the last three years. A further £445,000 capital receipt will revitalise employment units on Hollands Road Industrial Estate in Haverhill.