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.