It was great to hear the news a few days ago that Stockport has topped a BBC commissioned research project into growth and growth potential.
The Liberal Democrat-run council really supports local small business ventures and as a result start-ups in the town have increased by 10.8% in the past two years, with 2,335 new firms being established, the most in the North West.
I remember visiting Houldsworth Mill in Reddish with Business Secretary Vince Cable and local MPs Andrew Stunell and Mark Hunter to take a look at the Stockport Business Incubator in action. Houldsworth Mill is a beautifully converted Grade II listed building and forms part of the larger Houldsworth Village complex that houses the means to live, work and relax over various sites.
We actually met a business that had deisgned the lights for the new Wembley stadium from their business based in Houldsworth Mill.
Commenting on Stockport Council’s support for local business, Leader of the Council and Lib Dem Group Leader Dave Goddard said “We’ve put a lot of work in over the last few years to really help and encourage new businesses – free business advice and training, flexible and good value managed work space, networking events and targeted support for over 50s and female entrepreneurs”.
There is now a great chance that this growth can continue thanks to the Budget announcements of fantastic levels of investment in the North West region for things like the Growing Places Fund that targets local business and the Northern Hub for improving transport links.