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A consultation document on the government's support to business sectors, through challenge funding has been publish...
A consultation document on the government's support to business sectors, through challenge funding has been published by the department of trade and industry.

Under Sector Challenge, an initiative introduced by the previous

government, organisations were invited to submit bids for government

money to fund projects to significantly improve the competitiveness

of business sectors.

The consultation document 'The challenge approach to sectoral support

for business' has been sent out today to over 500 business

organisations, inviting comments on the challenge approach, whether

it should continue and if so how it might be developed to make it

more effective for business.

Companies and organisations should respond to the consultation

through their relevant sponsor departments. The deadline for replies

is 30 September.

Notes to Editors

1. President of the Board of Trade Margaret Beckett announced the

winners of the Sector Challenge initiative on 29 May (DTI press

notice P/97/352). 186 projects worth over£100m and covering a wide range of business sectors received support.

2. The initiative was aimed at bringing forward projects designed by

business to significantly improve competitiveness in individual

sectors of industry. The Sector Challenge covered all sectors of

industry and sponsor departments - DTI, Department of the Environment

Transport and the Regions, Department for Education and Employment,

Department of Health, Department of Culture Media and Sport, Ministry

of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Northern Ireland Office, Scottish

Office, and Welsh Office. The competition was led on behalf of all

Departments by the DTI's Sector Challenge Unit. However, there were

a number of reservations over the scheme, such the need for considerable preparatory with little or no return if unsuccessful and the danger that less well established sectors could be neglected.

4. Copies of the consultation are available from: DTI Publications,

Admail 528, London SW1W 8YT.

Tel: 0171 510 0142 quoting reference URN 97/800

Enquiries should be made to the Sector Challenge Unit, DTI:telephone

0171-215 1566

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