The city of Hull has been named the “most enterprising” city in the country at the Enterprising Britain Awards, because of its successful four-year programme to help local businesses to grow.
Since 2013, the City Plan introduced in Hull has found employment for more than 6,800 people, and its focus has been on securing jobs for economically excluded groups.
Schemes introduced through Hull’s City Plan have ranged from supporting innovative projects to driving multi-million pound investments, across the private, public, voluntary and community-led sectors.
Standout projects have included the successful £25.7m Greenport Growth programme, backed by the Regional Growth Fund, which helps local startups take advantage of opportunities in renewable energy, developing local business growth in that sector.
More generally, Enterprising Britain Awards judges were impressed with Hull’s wide-ranging approach to encouraging entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Announcing the winner of the awards – now in their fourteenth year – small business minister Margot James congratulated Hull for its achievements. “Small businesses are vital to our economy, and Hull is a great example of how the right support can have a huge effect on helping them to start and grow,” she said.
Commenting on his city’s victory, the councilor for economic investment, regeneration and planning in Hull, Martin Mancey, said: “Coming in the same year as the city being the City of Culture, this recognition will be another step forward for Hull in creating the right environment to support our business community.
“Over the last five years, the council and its many partners in the business world, local community and the government have worked to increase the city’s profile, which in turn has seen us secure major investment in Hull.
“This backdrop of investment has enabled us to work with significant numbers of new entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses.”
As well as being named “the most enterprising place in the UK”, a title Hull was also awarded the prize for “Improving the Business Environment” at this year’s the Enterprising Britain Awards.
The awards are split into four categories, with other 2017 winners including North Tyneside Council in the “Start-Up Spirit” category, Business West for “Support for Exporting” and Hatch Enterprise Incubator for “Building Enterprise Skills”.
In her announcement, James went on to say: “The Enterprising Britain Awards are a fantastic reminder of what can be achieved when we bring together local knowledge and leadership to provide targeted support to entrepreneurs and the innovative businesses they build.”
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