St Helens has benefited from a £23m Government investment programme, which has created over 2,000 jobs and 700 new businesses so far in the area.
The Local Enterprise Growth Initiative was launched two years ago in St Helens, the only borough in the North West to secure funding through the scheme, and since then a partnership between St.Helens Council and St Helens Chamber has been responsible for its development and delivery in the area.
The LEGI programme involves eleven projects under three themes:
- The increasing of entrepreneurial activity
- The support of local businesses
- Attracting investment
Local companies have been able to secure extra business worth more than £5m, new social enterprises have been created and, as part of Enterprising St.Helens – a campaign to encourage young people to experience the world of work and enterprise – over 7,000 pupils have been involved in enterprise activities with help from a wide variety of businesses in St.Helens.
Kath Boullen, chief executive at St Helens Chamber, said: "We have made great progress and now, as we begin Year three of the LEGI programme we can look ahead to building on these successes and continuing to deliver real benefits to the people and businesses of St.Helens."
Following the initial funding award and the success of the initiative, the Government has announced further investment for an additional two years, which will see the programme through to 2011, taking the total investment to £23m.
The programme is also helping to fund St Helens Chamber's new £6m Enterprise Centre, which will contain an Enterprise Greenhouse providing supported accommodation for new businesses.
LEGI has built on the success of the St.Helens City Growth Strategy, a ten-year business plan for the growth of St.Helens plc which is currently being revised to take account of the goals that have already been achieved and will set out an economic vision to develop the borough until 2018.