Working fund in Sheffield jobs boost

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Creating jobs and ‘putting Sheffield on the map’ have been key successes of a council scheme, it is claimed.

Sheffield Council says its Keep Sheffield Working Fund has directly created 86 jobs and boosted the city’s economy by £2.1million, supporting more than 90 businesses.

The £800,000 scheme has involved money being pumped into six key projects relating to business in the region – with another £200,000 in the pipeline.

They include £90,000 to improve exports, grow ‘threshold businesses’ and increase spending in the city centre during quiet months.

It has also included a loan fund for small and medium enterprises, as well as a city-wide internship plan, known as RISE, created in partnership with both Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam universities to ‘attract and retain’ graduate talent in the city.

Coun Leigh Bramall, council cabinet member for business, skills and economy, described RISE as a ‘rampant success’.

A report into the scheme said: “By attracting more than 1,000 applications, RISE is putting Sheffield on the map as a city that attracts and utilises graduate talent.’

Coun Bramall said 95 per cent of businesses in Sheffield are small and medium -sized enterprises.

He said: “We set up the Keep Sheffield Working fund in June 2012 so we could support activities that would help create jobs and drive the local economy.

“The programme is all about focusing on short -term growth initiatives that deliver a longer-term impact – in short, helping create jobs and growth.

“It is vital for our future economy that we have a strong, sustainable and resilient economy driven by private sector growth.”