Spring Budget 2017: Our prediction and reaction

James Baird
By James Baird
Group CEO, James Baird, gives his prediction to Bdaily on Wednesday's Spring Budget 2017.
Spring Budget 2017: Our prediction and reaction

"I’d like to see a much more focused and coordinated approach to funding innovation in smaller businesses.

There’s a real culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism in Yorkshire, and I think Government should be making it easier, not harder, for entrepreneurial businesses to access funding that can help them get workable ideas and concepts off the ground, into production and generating economic growth.

We’re currently in the new product development cycle ourselves and we’re struggling to find a single, central port of call for advice and access to funding in the region.

Based on our experience to date, everything seems to operate in silos, with no immediately obvious starting point, organisation or team who can signpost us to the people we should be talking to.

This can only slow the pace of innovation, when in fact those companies that are committed to creating jobs, driving growth and economic prosperity in the region should be able to readily find and access all the help and support they can get."

You can read the BDaily article here.

Following on from the announcement, James also gave his reaction to Wednesday's Budget.

“I’m glad to see a commitment to investing in innovation in today’s Budget. It will be interesting to see how much of the £270 million pledged by the Government in its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will end up in the hands of businesses who are investing in technological innovation, and how many hoops they will have to jump through in order to access it.

“I’m also very interested in the announcement about the national 5G Innovation Network trial. Investing in the country’s broadband infrastructure can only be a good thing as we come to rely more and more on technology, and I’d hope to see our region benefit significantly from this. With continued investment in the digital sector Leeds is on track to become a major digital player, and this is exactly the kind of investment that will help make this happen.”

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