West Yorkshire businesses to benefit from new scheme to boost productivity

Small and medium enterprises in West Yorkshire can get new support to boost productivity thanks to the Business Productivity Service.

01 March 2023

Small and medium enterprises across West Yorkshire can get new support to boost productivity in the region.

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, has today launched the service to boost productivity and to help ease growing pressure on the region’s businesses.  

This will highlight key barriers to improving productivity and work with businesses to develop the tools needed to address them. 

In the first phase of the service, businesses, with between five and 100 employees, will receive advice and support on how to boost productivity. Once that is complete, a vast majority of them will be offered grants for new equipment to address further productivity gaps.  

Speaking about the Business Productivity Service, Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said:

We must support West Yorkshire’s hardworking businesses during this difficult time as they grapple with record levels of inflation. 

“Helping boost productivity means businesses in West Yorkshire will thrive and continue to create good jobs for people living here in the region. 

"This work builds on the success we've been having helping businesses and I’d encourage as many as possible to take up the support.” 

Two pilot schemes of the service were run in 2019 and 2020, and one of the firms that benefited saw its turnover increase by 9% in just four months.  

Stainless-steel manufacturer Pland Stainless Ltd benefitted from financial support towards new equipment and was also offered expert advice. The Leeds-based company saw its productivity rise by 1.5% - exceeding the target by 0.7% thanks to the support.  

Speaking of the pilot service’s success, Steve Duree, Managing Director at Pland Stainless Ltd said:

"Our home has always been in Leeds so were justifiably proud of the location and our association with this great city. Much of our workforce live in and around the city and it’s great to be able to contribute to the local economy."  

He added: "Investment in more energy efficient and newer machinery supported through the service saw us quickly increase our turnover and profitability thereby allowing us to continue with further investments."

The new package of business support follows fresh warnings that 5,000 businesses in the region will be disproportionately affected by higher energy bills as the government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme comes to an end in April 2023.  

Chair of the Business, Economy and Innovation Committee Cllr Shabir Pandor has also welcomed the service which is set to make a difference for SME’s.  

Cllr Pandor said:

“To have a targeted package of support like this will be vital for businesses across West Yorkshire.   

“We’ve seen huge pressure on our communities   over the last few months, but we’re doing what we can to support and help people across Wet Yorkshire.  

“We have already seen the success of this scheme during its pilot, and I am delighted it will be in place over a long period to help Small Medium Enterprises during this time.”