In the Leeds city region, 66 businesses in Morley and Outwood have been directly supported, with £1 million in grant funding to help them create nearly 200 jobs. The AD:Venture initiative, which is available to start-ups in the first three years of trading in the Leeds city region, provides grants of up to £25,000. That is alongside a range of other support including academic support and coaching.
My hon. Friend will know that in 2017 the UK was the second biggest market in the EU for ultra low emission vehicles. Alfa Power, a company in my constituency, is a fine example of British engagement in the sector. What steps is he taking to further the sector’s progress? Next time he is in Yorkshire, will he visit Alfa Power to see the great work it is doing in electric charging points throughout Yorkshire?
I should be delighted to visit. The Government are investing nearly £1.5 billion until March 2021 to help to grow the market for ultra-low-emission vehicles. Yesterday I was pleased to announce £33 million of funding for the winners of the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s 12th competition. These latest projects focus on electrification and the future of low-emission vehicles as we aim to advance the UK’s low-carbon capacity.
I am sure that the members of the ministerial team know that Huddersfield and Morley and Outwood are part of the dynamic Leeds city region, but are they aware of the Power Up The North campaign, which was launched this week? It needs to receive a lot of interest. It is intended to help small businesses to grow even faster and go further in our northern constituencies. Will the Minister put his efforts behind it?
I am delighted about the Power Up The North campaign. I wholeheartedly support it, and I am very pleased that my Department has been bolstered by the addition of the Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, my hon. Friend Jake Berry, who will help to further our work on the northern powerhouse. The Government are investing £694 million in the Leeds city region through growth deals, creating up to 10,000 jobs, allowing more than 2,000 homes to be built, and creating up to £640 million in public and private investment.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. May I draw the Minister’s attention to Hull, one of the great cities that are part of the northern powerhouse? He is aware of the appalling way in which some of the people working for Grotto Hire have been treated—those who were not paid over Christmas. I have met the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kelly Tolhurst, to discuss the issue. What has the Department done to try to recover that money since our last meeting?
I know that the hon. Lady has discussed the issue with my ministerial colleague. I am not dealing with it personally, but I should be more than happy to have a conversation with my hon. Friend about it and come back to the hon. Lady.
The British Retail Consortium has reported that the high-street footfall is at a six-year low. Town centre businesses across the country are closing. Labour has a five-point plan to reinvigorate our high streets, in stark contrast to the Government’s worn-out platitudes and failure to act. Precisely when is the Minister going to produce a plan—or will the Government just keep walking by on the other side of the high street?
With particular reference to Morley and Outwood.
John Timpson has produced a plan for the Government, and in successive Budgets we have announced record support for the high street. There is £1.6 billion to help with business rates, and an additional £675 million for the future high streets fund.