A GROUP promoting the Yorkshire economy has smashed all its annual targets for business start-ups, supporting firms and investing in the region.
Development agency Yorkshire Forward – which has more than £357m to invest in growing the regional economy – has exceeded or met all its targets since its was formed in 1999.
Over the past 12 months it has helped to create or safeguard more than 25,400 jobs in the region, 13% above its target and the highest figure for any regional development agency in England.
Through the re-launched Business Link Yorkshire the agency also helped to create more than 1,230 businesses and supported more than 29,000 existing firms improve their performance, smashing the target of 23,575.
Collaboration between businesses and the region’s universities enabled firms to make use of ground-breaking research and technology.
Yorkshire Forward helped 353 businesses to work with universities and reap the benefits during the past 12 months.
Investment for regeneration developments across the region totalled £271.6m, against a target of £210.5m.
Working with the public and private sectors, the agency beat its target for regenerating disused industrial land by 8%.
The Government has pumped an extra £60m over the next three years into training and skills development.
During the past 12 months Yorkshire Forward helped 35,165 people improve their skills and assisted more than 11,200 people into work.
Tom Riordan, its chief executive, said: “I’m delighted that Yorkshire Forward again exceeded its core delivery targets for Yorkshire and Humber, maintaining a perfect record for the agency since its inception in 1999.
“But the numbers are just half the story. The real success is the way they are achieved and the impact we have on the ground.
“This is testament to the hard work and expertise of our staff and council and business partners across the region.”