Council cash to boost economy

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A new fund will be established to support local businesses following an amendment to Mansfield District Council’s budget for the next financial year.

The amendment was made by the authority’s Labour group to include a fund to stimulate local businesses and to support an apprenticeships scheme.

The new fund, which was proposed by Coun Paul Henshaw, has been set aside as a reserve, so it can only be used to support local businesses through grants and loans.

Labour group leader Coun Martin Lee, who seconded the amendment, said: “This reserve will be a great way to stimulate the local economy, encourage new businesses and secure future employment in Mansfield. I’m really proud of our group and I look forward to seeing how this fund will be spent.”

In a budget statement released on 13th January, the independent forum-controlled executive had already set aside £850,000 to help kick-start the local economy.

Coun Roger Sutcliffe, portfolio holder for resources, said the executive had been expecting the amendment.

He said: “I have no problem whatsoever with investing in Mansfield, especially as the green roots of recovery are now showing.

“This may be a little premature but by the time April comes around we will be able to fund all of this without it being a problem.

“We took a view in the early days that we needed to be more prudent with spending, and if we hadn’t hung onto these reserves we would not have them to spend now. If we all work together we can take this forward.”