'Yorkshire's startups are underfunded compared with the rest of the country,' Labour claims – Yorkshire Post

Yorkshire’s start up businesses need a strategic investment to boost recovery, Labour has said.

Labour's shadow business secretary Ed Miliband arrives at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. Photo: PA
Labour’s shadow business secretary Ed Miliband arrives at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London. Photo: PA

The party claimed the region’s start-ups had been underfunded compared to the rest of the country, with figures from the British Business Bank showing new businesses in Yorkshire received just one per cent of equity investment in the UK in 2019, despite being home to seven per cent of small businesses.

In comparison, the figures showed London received 66 per cent of investment despite being home to 19 per cent of small businesses.

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The latest statistics showed eight per cent of the UK’s high growth businesses were based in Yorkshire, and in 2020 just 3.4 per cent of equity investment deals were made with Yorkshire businesses compared to 47 per cent in London.

Labour said its proposals would target funding at Yorkshire and other under-funded regions and focus on businesses with high-growth potential.

It comes as MPs Tracy Brabin and Rachel Reeves hosted a virtual event yesterday focussing on how West Yorkshire can recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Leeds West MP and Shadow Cabinet Minister Ms Reeves said there were immediate things for the Government to address now, but she said: “I also want the Government to take this opportunity to think about how our economy and society works, and not just to build back, but to build something more resilient, more secure, and stronger for the future.”

And West Yorkshire mayoral candidate and Batley and Spen MP Ms Brabin added there was an opportunity to “lead our own recovery” with the election the West Yorkshire’s first metro mayor.

Ed Miliband, Shadow Business Secretary and MP for Doncaster North, said: “The pandemic has not only seriously affected existing businesses, it has stifled business creation. As well as supporting businesses to survive the crisis and beyond, Labour is determined we tackle the deep inequalities in our country by investing in new businesses in Yorkshire.

“We saw after the last recession that small businesses are a crucial engine of economic recovery, yet startling regional imbalances in the finance available to help them start up and scale up means we risk just going back to business as usual after this crisis is over, with recovery being held back in some parts of our country.

“With unemployment rising, vacancies stalling and long-standing weaknesses with investment in Yorkshire, the North and Midlands, now is the time for Government to act in the Budget to help support a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

The Treasury was approached for comment.


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