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Business Link Northwest axes 194 jobs

Agency is latest victim of budget cuts

Published on September 20th 2010.

Business Link Northwest axes 194 jobs

Business Link Northwest is set to make almost half of its 338-strong workforce redundant.

The Preston-based agency, which offers business support and advice to firms, said it planned to axe 194 jobs by March 2011 due to ‘anticipated budget reductions’ and further cuts in public cash from government and the regional development agency.

In a statement, it said: “Business Link Northwest has conducted a detailed review of its operations to bring it in line with in-year government budget reductions at the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

“This review has also taken into account anticipated budget reductions for 2011/12, when funding is expected to be reduced further following the Comprehensive Spending Review in October. As a result of this review, a restructuring of the organisation is proposed to deliver a streamlined Business Link service focused for maximum impact.

“The restructuring means that Business Link Northwest is proposing to reduce the number of staff it employs by 194 from a workforce of 338. These reductions will be across all departments.

“Formal consultation with staff has begun and redundancies are likely to take place before the end of March 2011, in order to be in a position to continue to deliver the Business Link Service across the region within the new budgets.

Peter Watson, managing director of Business Link Northwest said: “We know there will be changes to the delivery of government business support and a White Paper will be released in the autumn setting out the coalition’s proposals in more detail.

“The proposed re-structure will allow us to be in a position to work with the Government and the emerging Local Enterprise Partnerships in order to allow for a smooth transition”

“In the meantime Business Link will continue to offer support to North West companies, and those considering starting a business. We are very much open for business and have a wealth of expertise here waiting to help businesses get growing again.”

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