NEW jobs are being brought to Craven through an increasing number of businesses.

And local MP Julian Smith says that the Chancellor's pledge to take further steps to create a Northern Powerhouse would bring further jobs and growth to the constituency.

New figures show that the number of private sector businesses in Yorkshire has increased by around 21,600 in the past four years to more than 353,000, a rise of six per cent.

Nationally, there are more five million private sector businesses across the UK - a record increase of seven per cent since the start of 2013.

Mr Smith said: “These figures are fantastic news for Skipton and Ripon and those who want to work hard, get on in life and be rewarded for their efforts.

“More businesses starting up across Yorkshire is a tribute to the entrepreneurial nature of the region and the individuals taking a risk to begin their business journey.

“They show that our long-term economic plan is working, helping new businesses to create jobs and generating a recovery that works for everyone.”

Mr Smith also welcomed Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement, which set out measures to transform rail travel, introduce new trains and cut overcrowding for commuters, invest £6 billion in improving roads in the north, invest in science and innovation, create even wider access to superfast broadband, create a sovereign wealth fund to invest the receipts from shale gas and invest in the region’s thriving cultural life

It also forecast that the British economy was expected to grow by three per cent this year.

Mr Smith said: “The focus on growing the economy of the North of England is particularly welcome with investment in transport and infrastructure allowing us to compete with the rest of the UK. Ultimately this will mean more jobs and a more secure future for households and companies.”