A FUND which was set up to help businesses start up, grow, and create jobs has been praised in the House of Commons.
Leader of the House, Andrew Lansley, said the Bridging the Gap fund, which is administered by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, was a ‘good example’ of how businesses, councils and LEPs can work together to help the economy.
The News was also praised by Mr Lansley for its support of the Bridging the Gap Fund.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, who originally came up with the idea, said: ‘I brought it up because in the Queen’s speech this week there was a lot about growth, and encouraging businesses, and I thought it was important to celebrate some of the achievements in this area and some of the innovative ways we’ve encouraged local growth and helped business to flourish.’
The fund has so far dished out £258,750 to six firms in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant areas which are either starting their businesses, or growing them.
There is around £800,000 still left in the fund, as a further £772,000 has been earmarked for businesses which are putting the finishing touches to their applications.
In the Commons debate, Mr Lansley said: ‘I do indeed join my honourable friend in welcoming the Bridging the Gap scheme and those who have supported it in her constituency and around Portsmouth and the Solent.
‘It shows how, by working closely with local authorities and businesses, Local Enterprise Partnerships are able to deliver schemes that make sense locally, not least because they are rooted in their local communities and not part of a bureaucracy, which regional development agencies used to be.
‘My honourable friend draws on a good example of that.’