Falkirk’s jobs service switch has delivered boost

Falkirk Business Panel annual conference 2013
Falkirk Business Panel annual conference 2013

Hundreds of jobs have been created or safeguarded since Falkirk Council set up a
specialist business unit.

Eighteen months after the local authority agreed to bring business support in-house, the move is being hailed a success.

Previously it had been provided by the now defunct Falkirk for Business.

Along with the 760 jobs, 436 firms were helped start up or grow in the 12 months from October 2012.

Councillor Dennis Goldie, economic development spokesperson, said the figures were a credit to the council officials providing the support.

Free workshops run by the growth and investment unit have also attracted over 500 people, while 29 companies were accepted on to programmes designed to help them expand and create jobs.

Feedback shows the Business Gateway service provided by the team notched up a 100 per cent satisfaction rate, while attendance at Falkirk’s business training events were in the top three for Scotland.

It also supported Falkirk Business Panel and its annual conference.

Financial support totalling £68,354 provided 25 small business grants prompting £248,000 in private sector cash.

Given its success, the council has allocated £207,000 of funds towards its Small Business Grant Scheme and the East of Scotland Investment Fund.

Mr Goldie said: “This is the best report I have ever seen since joining this council. The team has made a big difference to help create jobs and support businesses.

“We have streamlined the support services offered and that has allowed us to redistribute our budgets and support even more businesses, which is at the heart of what we deliver.”