HC Deb 06 March 2001 vol 364 c141W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will set out(a) the timetable and (b) the criteria for the introduction of funding to support businesses in deprived areas under the Community Finance Initiative; and if he will make a statement. [152147]

Ms Hewitt

I am pleased to be able to report that the chief executive of the Small Business Service announced on 1 March 2001 that 15 organisations have been successful in securing awards from the first round of Phoenix Fund support for Community Finance Initiatives (CFIs). These awards amount to £5.5 million over the next three years.

CFI support from the Phoenix Fund is allocated on a competitive challenge basis. The assessment process has two elements being, (i) review by SBS against key criteria stated in the bidding guidance, (ii) an independent assessment panel to advise the SBS Chief Executive on the final award of Phoenix Fund support. In reviewing the bids the panel was concerned with the soundness of each proposal, its impact on entrepreneurship in areas of disadvantage, impact on the growth of the CFI sector in the UK and development of appropriate models and good practice.

Bidding guidance for the first round of Phoenix Fund support for CFIs was issued in June 2000 and copies are held in the Library of the House.

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