REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley has welcomed news that the town is to benefit from the new assisted area map, making businesses able to bid for extra European funding and tax breaks to aid growth.

Assisted area status makes local businesses eligible to bid for additional funding and tax breaks to create jobs, invest in new premises or machinery, and grow.

Programmes in England that offer regional aid include the Regional Growth Fund and the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain initiative.

The allocations have been made with an emphasis for potential growth that can be transformational for areas with significant deprivation.

The MP said: “This is really good news for businesses in my constituency and the area as a whole. It will give a welcome boost and give local businesses the edge over their competitors.

"This is a clear commitment from the Government to growth in our area.”

There are strict European rules governing the way governments support industry, classified as state aid, to try to ensure proper competition across the European Union.

But the EU allows governments to identify areas where the economy needs extra help and companies can be offered bigger grants to help them create jobs or incentives such as discounts against taxes.

The map now goes to European Commission for ratification which the Government hopes to receive by the end of May.

Businesses could then start to benefit from the proposals from as earlier as July.