Corby wins Assisted Area StatusPosted: April 30, 2014
I have been informed today by the government that Corby will become an Assisted Area for the purpose of receiving additional support from the European Union.
Assisted area status makes local businesses eligible to bid for additional funding and tax breaks to create jobs, invest in new premises or machinery and grow. Programmes in England include the Regional Growth Fund and the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain initiative.
Four years ago the Tory County Council and Tory MP for the town failed to effectively back Corby to become an Assisted Area. This left the town locked out of opportunities to get vital help for the local economy. As Corby’s MP I have campaigned for my constituency be to designated an Assisted Area, working closely with Corby Borough Council and the two Local Enterprise Partnerships serving the area. I am delighted that our combined efforts for Assisted Area Status have been successful.
When I backed the bid by Fairline Boats for money from the Regional Growth Fund the government turned it down because we were not in an Assisted Area. The same thing happened when I supported the bid by Benteler Automotive for funds from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain initiative.
For the past four years Corby has been at a competitive disadvantage to other areas of the country, despite having higher levels of unemployment and a need for support.
I will now be lobbying the European Commission to approve the re-drawn Assisted Area map, and pressing both the EU and the government to work with me, the council and local businesses to ensure vital help and support flows to Corby and East Northamptonshire.