Peter Richardson and Karen Edmonds

18 July, 2014, by Kelly Cookson

D2N2 Growth Deal and Better Business for All

Speakers: Peter Richardson, Chairman of the D2N2 LEP and Karen Edmonds, lead for Better Business for All across D2N2.

The D2N2 Growth Deal

Peter Richardson was welcomed to the floor to give an overview of the recently announced Growth Deal and what this will mean for small businesses across the cities and counties of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire. The joint investment programme secures £174.4m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund over six years – with £47.4m of funding confirmed for 2015/16.

Peter explained that the growth target will be driven by the business community. The LEP have produced a strategic economic plan which will drive economic growth across the region and it is this plan that Peter gave us an insight into at this seminar.

The economic plan is based on the growth plans of all authorities across D2N2 and is led by the private sector. The LEP is engaging with businesses about what it is that the LEP needs to do with regards to helping business to grow, access funding or to start a business.

The LEP has identified 8 key sectors of economic focus for the region:

1. Low carbon
2. Life sciences
3. Visitor economy
4. Construction
5. Transport equipment manufacturing
6. Food and drink
7. Transport and logistics
8. Creative industries

There is also support available for businesses outside of these key sectors and particularly for small businesses. The LEP has set out that they will create 55,000 jobs in the region by 2023 and envisions that many of these will be created by SMEs.

Peter ended by highlighting the funding options that are available to businesses; more information can be found on the Business Advice Website.

One of the key ways in which we can improve economic growth is to cut out the wasted effort that sometimes goes into compliance and regulation and therefore drags businesses back. This is the focus of Karen’s part of the talk.

Better Business for All

Karen is working with the Better Regulation Delivery Office to see how they can more effectively deliver regulation with a view to supporting businesses while maintaining protection of people and the environment. The Better Business for All (BBfA) project aims to support businesses primarily by making business regulations easier to access and understand.

This approach helps to support growth by saving businesses money. Karen gave the example of a farmer setting up a child nursery on his land and how the BRDO helped him to make the best choice when building the premises, saving the farmer from investing money in premises that would perhaps end up being unsuitable for the intended purpose.

Karen is working to open up the communication channels between the regulators and businesses and building trust. The regulators have moved away from attending businesses with their clipboard in hand looking to find mistakes. It is now about understanding the business’s needs, pressures and market and working out solutions to meet those.

There are now lots of schemes where advice is given nationally so that if your business has premises across different authority areas, the advice given will be consistent for them all. Not every business can get everything right all the time and officers recognise efforts to comply so that businesses don’t get hit on the head for small errors. The focus is on helping businesses to comply as after all, that is what most businesses want to do.

D2N2 is a key champion of the BBfA programme and there has already been success in getting across that regulation doesn’t need to be a burden. The partners on board with BBfA are passionate about helping businesses and are all working together to help businesses to thrive.

The Regulators Code was launched in April this year and outlines what businesses can expect from the regulators. It’s basically a customer care package and makes sure the regulators deliver a transparent and consistent service. If you as a business are not happy with the mechanism that regulators have, you are encouraged get in touch with BIS and let them know that the regulators need to do better.

Karen finished by saying that the BBfA project relies on engagement with businesses and if anyone would like to contribute to how regulation is delivered, please do get in touch via the Business Advice website.

Posted in Assistance for businessIngenuity Knowledge ExchangeRegulation