£4.2m plan to back Yorkshire business

A PROJECT to support businesses in Barnsley has set out £4.2m plans that will see it continue work for a further three years.

Enterprising Barnsley is looking to create 600 jobs and safeguard a further 150 as well as support the creation of 45 new businesses if the proposals get the go-ahead.

The plan is in part designed to fill the gap in business support which will be left by the demise of Business Link Yorkshire.

The initiative includes plans for “high growth coaching” focused on micro-sized businesses and will see University of Huddersfield students providing support in areas such as marketing and website development.

Martin Beasley, programme manager for Enterprising Barnsley, said: “High growth start up provision is something that was traditionally provided by Business Link and so we didn’t focus on that in phase one.

“However, one to one support is a key to job creation if you can match the right coaches to the right organisation. Its not just one person going in, it is a number of people with specific areas of expertise trying to tackle problems with that organisation.”

The second phase of Enterprising Barnsley will also look to build on the network of nine hubs it has already established across the borough offering accommodation to new businesses.

In particular, there are plans to expand its Genesis concept – where businesses taking accommodation at the Barnsley Business Innovation Centre receive a package of support including mentoring – to the other hubs and home-based businesses.

Enterprising Barnsley is looking for £2.7m from the European Regional Development Fund with Barnsley Council, the University of Huddersfield and the Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre also making contributions.

The first phase of the project, which is due to run until next year, attracted £2.89m of funding from ERDF. If it receives the go-ahead the second phase will continue the project until 2015.