Seamless Transfer of Business Gateway to Highland Council
31st March 2009
Today (1 April 2009) responsibility for providing business advice has transferred from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to local authorities. Advice will be provided through the Business Gateway service which already operates in the rest of Scotland
In The Highland Council area it will be managed by the Council's enterprise trust, Highland Opportunity and will be the first point of access for information and advice on all services to business and social enterprises in the Highlands.
The new service can be accessed on-line: www.bgateway.com or by telephone: 0845 609 6611 or walk-in to the Business Gateway office, 81 Castle Street, Inverness, or if outwith Inverness, at one of the Council's network of 37 Service Points.
Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of the Council's Planning Environment and Development Committee, welcomed the move.
He said: "Everything is in place to ensure a seamless transfer of this important advice and information service to the council, via our enterprise trust, which offers an extensive range of advice and financial support to new and existing businesses."
HIE will continue to work with businesses offering significant growth potential including those involved in research and development or engaged in international trade. In addition they will work with social enterprises with growth aspirations.
Charlotte Wright, HIE's Regional Director - Highland said: "We have been working very closely with local authorities to ensure that businesses will get the first class advice and support they need, leaving our agency able to specialise in bringing real advantage to businesses with significant growth aspirations."
The Council has a legal duty to provide certain advice and information services on debt, welfare and housing for local residents. Employment rights advice is also provided but there is no statutory duty on the Council to provide this.
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