New Enterprise Allowance 'boosting start-up numbers'

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The New Enterprise Allowance is helping to create thousands of new businesses

New figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have highlighted the positive impact of the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) on the number of new business start-ups that are being witnessed across the UK.

Highlighted as part of efforts to reinforce the government's commitment to delivering a "northern powerhouse" and helping to create a more stable and fairer economy for the whole of the UK, the figures showed the north-east of England has been the region where NEAs have really taken off to date.

Overall, the breakdown by region revealed the north-east to be the most popular area for new business start-ups, with 13,500 of the nationwide total of 70,000 benefit claimants to have made use of NEAs since their launch in April 2011.

NEAs are available to unemployed individuals to help to give them the funds and connections necessary to start their own venture. They are available to people aged 18 and over who are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, those who are claiming Income Support as lone parents or who are sick, on Employment and Support Allowance, and who are eligible Universal Credit claimants.

Following close on the heels of the north-east in terms of NEA take-up to date was the central England region (13,310 successful claimants), while London and the home counties (12,790) was ranked third. This was followed by the north-west (10,610) and, latterly, southern England (8,220).

Meanwhile, Liverpool was shown to be the city with the largest number of NEA start-ups (1,270) outside the Greater London area.

Employment minister Priti Patel commented: "Starting up in business successfully needs so much more than just funding - it needs the right support and advice at the right time, and we're doing just that through the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.

"We will ensure that every part of Britain, including the northern powerhouse, benefits from a growing economy and that everyone who works hard gets the opportunities they need to succeed."

Meanwhile, Scotland is also providing its own positive contribution to the New Enterprise Allowance scheme, with almost 7,000 successful applications since the scheme's launch.

Welsh claimants have been the slowest to pick up on the benefits of NEAs - just 3,740 cases have been recorded to date - but with no scheduled deadline for the initiative to close, there remains plenty of time for Welsh participant numbers to improve.