Business Link puts 145 staff on notice of redundancy
Business Link West Midlands has put 145 staff on notice of redundancy ahead of its likely closure in 2012.
The organisation faces a vastly reduced budget after its main funder Advantage West Midlands was scrapped by the Government.
Business Link West Midlands’ budget last year was £37 million, but cuts to Advantage West Midlands’ funding meant it had £28 million this year.
It is set to close in 2012, when it will be scrapped and replaced by a centralised call centre and website.
The Government wants to shift its focus away from a generalist business support service and towards companies where it believes publicly-funded advice can add more value.
Business Link West Midlands (BLWM) envisages that around 60 staff will remain at its Quinton headquarters until its final closure.
Business Link West Midlands chief executive Lorraine Holmes said: “I would like to praise the commitment and hard work of the staff, who have contributed greatly to the business success of the West Midlands and have continued to provide a highly professional service during what has been – and continues to be – a very uncertain time.
“The key message for businesses and our partners is that BLWM remains committed to providing business support to new and existing companies across the region until our closure. We will also focus on migrating the many years of knowledge we have accumulated to successor organisations.
“During the previous two years our work has resulted in the creation of more than 7,000 new jobs and an increased GVA of £484 million pounds in the businesses we have supported.
"Knowing the challenges of the job market, BLWM will also continue to support all staff through this transition period.”