HC Deb 18 December 1995 vol 268 cc866-7W
Mr. Alex Carlile

To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many business links have been established; what services they deliver; and if he will list the total costs of delivering these services and the total number of Department of Trade and Industry staff located in business links. [5841]

Mr. Page

A total of 171 business link outlets were operational on 15 December 1995. Seventy-three DTI staff are currently located in business links. A number of core services lie at the heart of business links. These include:

  • an enquiry and information service:
  • personal business advisers;
  • diagnostic services;
  • and help for start ups and micro businesses.

Business links also provide direct access to 11 categories of specialist advice and support including; marketing, finance, exports, management, training. technology and design. A copy of the "Business Link Service Guide" can he found in the Library of the House.

The cost of delivering services is different for each business link and is met from a number of sources including DTI funding. fee income from assisted businesses and contributions from business link partner organisations. The total cost of all business link services could therefore he obtained only at disproportionate cost. DTI's budget for 1995–96 is £38.5 million for pump-priming funding and £57.4 million for services.

Dr. Hampson

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the business links that have been established in the Yorkshire and Humberside region and the scheduled opening dates for others. [6206]

Mr. Page

The following is the information:

Open Business Links
Barnsley Opened 3 May 1994
Doncaster Opened 18 April 1994

Brighouse Opened February 1995
Huddersfield Opened February 1995
Batley Opened February 1995
Halifax Opened March 1995
Todmorden Opened 29 November 1995
Hull Opened 18 September 1995
Leeds Opened 2 October 1995
Rotherham Opened 19 April 1995
Sheffield Opened 19 September 1995
Wakefield Opened 16 October 1995
Schedule Opening Dates
Bradford January 1996
Grimsby January
Scunthorpe March
Boothferry April
East Yorkshire April 1996
North Yorkshire May 1996