Skip to main content

Small Businesses: Copeland

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many new small businesses have been established within Copeland in the last five years; and how many received support and advice through (a) Business Link and (b) other agencies. (163043)

Value added tax (VAT) registrations and de-registrations are the best official guide to the pattern of business start-ups and closures. BERR data on the number of VAT registrations, and the start of year stock of VAT registered businesses in Copeland local authority from 2001 to 2005 are shown in the following table. Data for 2006 will be published 14 November 2007.

VAT registrations and start of year VAT stock in Copeland local authority






















Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994-2005, BERR, available from

Although the number of registrations in Copeland local authority has fluctuated, the start of year stock has risen by 9 per cent. between the start of 2001 and the start of 2006.

VAT registrations do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which was £60,000 at the start of 2006. Only 1.9 million out of 4.5 million UK enterprises (41 per cent.) were registered for VAT at the start of 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the value of business start up grants made to new businesses in Copeland was in the last five financial years. (163045)

The only grants used to provide start up support were delivered via West Cumbria Development Agency (WCDA). WCDA have provided business start up support since April 2003 to November 2007.

WCDA state that £1,000 was given to each company as a grant. 94 start-up businesses were provided with a grant over this period, and £94,000 was given in total as a grant. In addition to this, training and assistance was given via WCDA staff and consultants which is estimated at £2,500 per start up company i.e. an additional £235,000 of support was given to SMEs in Copeland, making £329,000 of support in total.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the number of new job opportunities that have been created by the small business sector in Copeland in the last five years. (163047)

Neither the Northwest Regional Development Agency nor the West Cumbria Development Agency holds this information.