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£2m package ‘to help safeguard economic prosperity’


Councillors have earmarked an extra £1.1 million for a series of measures aimed at helping job creation and increasing advice and support services.
The money has come from government, paid as a reward to the council for delivering high-level services.
The council has begun immediate action to support businesses with measures including job-hunting courses, to organising business advice and networking seminars.
Cllr Douglas McCall (pictured), cabinet member responsible for economic growth, said: “We have recognised that these are unprecedented times and need strong action to do our best to help preserve jobs and the economic success story that Milton Keynes has become.
“That is why we have decided to allocate £1.1 million to help safeguard the future economic prosperity of both our residents and our businesses in the city.”
Key measures to be introduced include:
·        Promoting the wealth of advice, finance packages and support services available to Milton Keynes businesses;
·        A small business rates relief campaign;
·        Supporting job-creating new start-ups and small firms;
·        Organising business advice and networking seminars;
·        Offering advice on redundancy issues and how to find work;
·        Promoting Milton Keynes as a business, shopping and leisure destination.
The council also introduced £800,000 worth of measures at the end of last year to help businesses. Its action follow its Economic Summit run in conjunction with the Milton Keynes Economy and Learning Partnership in December.
One of the key messages to emerge was the need to promote better the support, finance and services that already exist. A one-stop advice and support website is to be launched next month.
An Economic Task Group has also been set up, with representatives from council, MKELP and the Milton Keynes Council of Voluntary Organisations, will guide and monitor how the £1.1 million support package is spent.