TWO Craven MPs have welcomed the results of a Government scheme to help the unemployed start their own business.

The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme supported supported 210 business starts across Skipton and Ripon and 140 in Pendle.

And a further 290 people in Craven and 240 people in Pendle have started working with a business mentor to develop their business idea.

The NEA began in 2011 with the aim of connecting those out of work with mentoring and support and then providing them with financial support while they began their business. It is available to those who are placed on Jobseekers’ Allowance by Jobcentre Plus.

Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith said: “The NEA has been a real success across Skipton and Ripon helping people who are out of work turn their vision for a business into reality.

“The 210 new businesses since 2011 are boosting the local economy and giving would-be entrepreneurs the opportunity to get back into work, determining their own futures.

“I look forward to hearing about the success these businesses are having in the future.”

And Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson added: “The NEA is giving people financial support to help them start their business and get through the tricky early months.

“It is also helping thousands of would-be entrepreneurs get off benefits and back into work."