Ipswich: �1m bid to boost jobs as unemployment edges higher

ipswich: The borough council and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to launch a bid for government funding to boost job creation in the town.

The high proportion of public sector workers in Ipswich, making it vulnerable to government spending cuts, means that it is eligible for funding from the Regional Growth Fund which aims to stimulate growth in the private sector.

If their �1million bid is successful, Suffolk Chamber and Ipswich Borough Council aim to use the cash to set up an Ipswich Employment Fund (IEF) which would award loans and grants to support business start-ups and expansion.

It would be run by a “Dragon’s Den” style panel of of business leaders, including representatives from sectors including ports and logistics, energy, financial services, the creative industries and bio-technology.

“It is important that we help provide financial opportunities to a wide range of private sector companies to offset the reduction in public sector jobs,” said John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber.

“We are encouraged with the support of Ipswich Borough Council, which will provide key support if this bid is to be successful.”

Borough councillor Carole Jones, the economic development portfolio holder at the authority, added: “This is an important scheme in the current climate which should encourage growth in the small and medium-sized business sector.”

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n The number of people claiming the Jobseeker’s Allowance in Ipswich edged higher by 17 to 3,964 last month, official figures revealed yesterday.

Totals also rose in neighbourinig Babergh, up 15 to 1,112, and Mid Suffolk, up 16 to 1,066, although in Suffolk Coastal the number fell by 22 to 1,314.