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

The Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin has 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 Brabin said: “We must support West Yorkshire’s hard-working 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.”

Clr Shabir Pandor

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.

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.

Clr Shabir Pandor, chairman of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Business, Economy and Innovation Committee and leader of Kirklees Council, welcomed the scheme and 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 West 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 SMEs during this time.”