A total of 892 StartUp Loans have been issued to entrepreneurs across West Yorkshire, amounting to nearly £5 million, and 890 West Yorkshire businesses have secured guarantees under the enterprise finance guarantee scheme, amounting to £87 million. Through the growth deal funding in 2015-16, we have supported the establishment of a growth hub in the Leeds city region, which helps businesses across West Yorkshire to gain access to joined-up, expert advice, grants and loans.
I welcome that positive news. As the Minister knows, one of the big challenges for my local businesses, which are expanding at a fantastic rate, is finding new premises. There are many derelict mill sites, but they need a big capital injection to prepare them for the expanding businesses. Will the Minister continue to consider investing through the regional growth fund and the business growth deal to support those wonderful businesses, creating jobs and apprenticeships?