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04:41 on Thursday
17 June 2004

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Small Business Service in Cambridgeshire 

A consortium of local organisations, led by Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and Business Link Central and Southern Cambridgeshire, has been awarded the Small Business Service franchise for Cambridgeshire, beating two other competitive bids.

The successful bid was prepared with the collaboration and support of Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, St John's Innovation Centre, the University of Cambridge, Anglia Polytechnic University, the Enterprise Agencies for Cambridge, Peterborough, Huntingdonshire and Fenland, and Local Authorities throughout the area. These organisations will be working together to deliver integrated services throughout the area, using Business Link brand.

Walter Herriot, Managing Director of St John's Innovation Centre, who chaired the bidding group, commented: "This is great news for Cambridgeshire. Businesses in this area already benefit from a wide range of services but, with all these organisations working together, we believe that we shall reach standards that are the envy of other regions".

In order to meet the stringent criteria set for delivering business support services, focus groups were held with businesses in the area. The resulting bid not only met Government and partner expectations, but was widely approved by businesses across the region.

The new Business Link service will be operational from 1 April 2001. The next stage is the setting up of a business-led Board, which will oversee the development of a business plan to deliver support services for the whole of Cambridgeshire.

October 2000




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