18 locations across England have been identified as having the potential to be used by aspiring entrepreneurs to build and grow their businesses. They include locations in London, Rugby, Leeds, Runcorn, Birmingham, Oxford and Bristol.
The Government is now inviting incubation and business start-up organisations, which help new and existing small businesses, to manage and allocate these spaces. These organisations will also provide businesses moving into the space with valuable support and advice.
Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:
“Many entrepreneurs struggle to find a suitably flexible and affordable space to start their business, so this is a practical measure which the Government is taking to support the next generation of businesses. Opening up areas that are not being used will give entrepreneurs access to the space they need to start and grow.”
The Government, working in co-operation with landlords, will offer as much space as possible to small businesses, giving them room to grow at a low cost.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:
"This Government saved over £100 million in the last financial year alone by getting a tight grip on government property and using space more efficiently.
"In some cases it’s not possible to sell a building or exit a lease immediately when the space is no longer needed. Rather than letting these buildings sit empty at the taxpayers’ expense, we are making this space available to SMEs. This is an innovative measure that will support British business.”
Anyone interested in managing the spaces can register their interest at www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk. The process will be open until 29 June 2012.
This year the Government is running the Business in You campaign to encourage more people to start or grow their business throughout 2012 using a range of existing support services. More information is available at businessinyou.bis.gov.uk.
Notes to editors:
1. As part of its overall efficiency programme led by the Cabinet Office, the Government is making more efficient use of government property. Since May 2010, the Government has exited over 900 properties, saving millions as well as providing vital opportunities for growth in local communities.
2. Opening up empty properties to SMEs will involve flexible, short-term arrangements that will make productive use of the assets while they are otherwise sitting empty. The Government’s ultimate aim for these assets remains to exit leases or sell buildings where they are not needed, generating savings for taxpayers.
3. The total space available equates to over 20,000 square metres (more than 200,000 square feet).
4. The following buildings are part of the scheme:
- 77 Paradise Circus, Birmingham.
- Atlas House, Bolton.
- 2 Rivergate, Bristol.
- Apex Court, Bristol.
- Colchester Harbour House, Colchester.
- Unit 1-2, Webb Ellis Business Park, Rugby.
- Crewe Electra Way, Crewe.
- Crewe Nantwich House, Crewe.
- Church Street, Blackpool.
- The Berkeley Centre, Berkeley.
- Crosskill House, Beverley.
- 25 Queen Street, Leeds.
- Albion House, Bedford.
- Nottingham Business Park, Nottingham.
- Riverside House, Northampton.
- Burgner House, Unit 4630 Kingsgate, Oxford.
- Blenheim Court, Peterborough.
- Unit 4, The Meadows, Waterlooville.
- Connect House, Wimbledon, London.
- Castle View House, Runcorn.
5. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.