THREE council wards in Torbay could benefit from a Government helping hand towards creating new jobs.
Blatchcombe, Shiphay with The Willows and Tormohun are being considered for Assisted Area status from next spring. The Government is in the final rounds of consultation on the status nationwide.
Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver said: "Assisted Area status is brilliant news for Torbay as it will act as a further catalyst to regeneration of our local economy and support the growth of our local industries. It builds on the partnership I established to develop links in the US and attract inward investment. It complements the Torbay Growth Fund, our inward investment and business growth strategies and the immense commitment and passion from the local business and resident community."
Torbay Council, Torbay Development Agency and the South West Local Enterprise Partnership have been working together to lobby the UK and EU government to recognise Torbay as an assisted area status. This would help these partnerships deliver the regeneration initiatives planned to improve the local economy and attract and retain jobs and investment.
Alan Denby, TDA director of economic strategy said: "The TDA is very pleased with this announcement, which is testament to the progress we have made drive the message to the government about the potential for growth in Torbay, given comparable economic conditions for investment in line with similar UK business locations. While the status does not guarantee additional funding, it is recognition of the ongoing work in Torbay to improve the local economy; and will enable businesses to access funding more easily. We will be continue to lobby government to make a strong case for Torbay's inclusion in the final version."
Assisted Area status permits the granting of additional financial support to small businesses and large enterprise in economically disadvantaged 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.
The status recognises the potential for growth, so while it is allocated to areas in some way "disadvantaged" they are only designated as assisted areas if the EU agrees there is significant potential for business growth and that there are robust partnerships in place to address the challenges.