Added to Creative Stoke, 30th June 2010

New! 30.06.10    
Creative Remedies, now based at the Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service, has launched its new-look arts & health website…

New! 30.06.10    
Added to the Directory: David Howson, a ceramics maker based in Leek. David has a new 2010/11 collection of Copper Vessels coming soon.

New! 30.06.10    
Planning to refurbish a listed building for arts or cultural uses? On 22nd July 2010, Urban Vision North Staffordshire is holding a free Heritage Building Refurbishment morning. The event is free. Send an email to:  hannah.barter@uvns.org  for full details.

New! 30.06.10    
A quick round-up of recent changes in business support and funding for the West Midlands. Today the… “Business Minister announced today that the new government would be shutting down the Business Link network” (which I doubt many creative businesses will be shedding a tear for), and it’s already been well publicised that the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (distributing £200m annually) is set to be abolished by the end of the summer. There are additional reports in the Birmingham Post today that… “Advantage West Midlands is set to cut off funding for businesses and public bodies which have already been promised grants”.

It now seems that AWM and Business Link will be replaced by…

* a new system of local enterprise partnerships
* support for the private advice that most companies are already using in preference to Business Link.
* local Chambers of Commerce will take on a bigger role in offering business advice.
* an improved and simpler-to-use online service, accessible both on desktops and on mobiles.
* a new £1bn regional business growth fund will… “help the areas most dependent on public sector employment”.
* a waiver of some employment taxes “for new businesses starting up in targeted regions of the country”.
* And for the West Midlands… “a discount on National Insurance payments of up to £5,000 per new member of staff, capped at £50,000 for 10 staff.”

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