BE to examine Deeside networking project

Regeneration consultancy BE Group has been appointed to carry out a mid-term review of a European-funded business support programme on Deeside Industrial Park.

The £1.1m project started in April 2009 and completes March 2015 and is 40% funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Wrexham County Council is the project lead with Flintshire County Council as partner.

The project involves the introduction of business co-ordinators to specifically work with SMEs on the two estates. Together Wrexham Industrial estate and Deeside Industrial Park house over 600 companies employing 14,000 jobs.

A series of forums covering business, health and safety and environmental topics have been set up for each estate. There are also regular meet-the-neighbour events for occupiers of the estates as part of business networking aimed at developing local supplier chains.

Peter Crompton, director of Warrington-based BE Group, said: "We are undertaking a mid-term review of the project, which will include a large-scale consultation programme with the existing businesses. We will assess performance since the project began in 2009 and advise on the content of activity for the remainder of the programme period."

Target outputs are 250 enterprises assisted; 100 jobs created; investment induced £5m; enterprises adopting or improving environmental systems, 143 and adopting or improving equality strategies, 125.

There is also a possible exit strategy after March 2015 that would create Business Improvement Districts for each estate.

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