Nick Harvey calls on Government to support growth through ‘Assisted Areas’ map

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NORTH DEVON MP Nick Harvey has called on the Government to extend funding to North Devon’s small businesses and large companies.

Responding to a Government consultation, Mr Harvey asked for key manufacturing areas of North Devon to be included in the “Assisted Areas” map.

Gaining Assisted Area status allows qualifying parts of the country to access regional aid funding to boost their local economy.

Mr Harvey welcomed the inclusion of Fremington and Instow in the map’s first draft, but pressed the Government to add more areas like Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.

“I’m pleased to see that Fremington and Instow have already made it into the first draft of the Assisted Areas map,” he said. “But I want to see much more of North Devon benefit from the opportunities that regional aid funding can bring.

“Pharmaceutical company Actavis is looking to expand in Barnstaple and has already submitted a £6m expansion plan to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, and in Ilfracombe TDK Lambda have plans to increase their production facilities and create more well-paid jobs. If those towns and their surrounding areas are not included in the Assisted Areas map, these important projects will struggle to go ahead and North Devon could miss out on vital overseas investment.”

North Devon Council has also called for more areas to be added to the map, after it was revealed that the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance increased between November and December.

Year-on-year, however, the number of claimants dropped by 462 to 879 in December 2013.

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