SMEs a focus of council fund

START-UP businesses could be among the first to benefit from a new £28.5m council fund.

City of York Council is considering using part of its new Economic Infrastructure Fund to back a project to improve access to finance and support for new businesses in the city.

The authority is also looking at working with retailers and businesses on plans to invest on improvements in the city centre.

The council announced it was setting up the EIF last month to try and boost growth in the city and is now fleshing out how it will work.

While the council will lead on the majority of the projects it may earmark up to £1m that the private sector can bid for.

The bulk of the fund, around £20m, will be set aside for capital investment while £8.5m will support revenue spending.

Councillors will discuss the EIF at a meeting today.