Easy Access to Business Support in Winchester

Winchester City Council and Business Link have joined forces to provide local businesses with easy access to support and advice services.

Following national government recommendations to simplify the way advice, training and networking is provided to businesses, a special agreement has been signed by the two organisations to strengthen their partnership and demonstrate their shared commitment to promoting an enterprising culture in the Winchester District.

The agreement builds on the existing relationship between Winchester City Council and Business Link, and signifies a new era for business support services. This will include joint programmes of advice and events making it easier for people who are looking to start up a business, or those with existing businesses, to access business support in the borough.

Over the last year, Winchester City Council has hosted a series of free business health checks at the Winchester Business Centre with 1-2-1 advice provided by Business Link Advisers. The Council also selected Business Link to administer its new grants scheme for start-up enterprises this year, and to carry out business assessments to help the Council decide on allocations of rate relief for businesses suffering from hardship.

Councillor George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council said: "This is a strong relationship. Business Link will be the first point of contact for anyone thinking of starting a business or seeking to grow an established business; providing free information and advice. We are committed to promoting a diverse and thriving economy, and to unlocking the enormous talent and potential Winchester has to become one of the most enterprising economies in the county."

Phil Wilding, Chairman of Business Link Hampshire and Isle of Wight, said: "Hampshire is one of the best areas in the country to start and grow a business. Our goal is to ensure that we simplify the access to business support to make a real difference to existing businesses and to the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Winchester area. I am delighted we have this agreement with Winchester City Council. It is our aim to have the same kind of partnership with all local councils across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight very soon."