The improved arrangements, which follow extensive consultation with business organisations, were outlined today by Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine.
Welcoming the new arrangements, he said:
'These new arrangements mark a significant development in the partnership between government and business. We are bringing together support from across government into more coherent and simplified programmes. We are also committed to making government funded support as customer focused as possible - moving away from centrally designed and administered support schemes, which business has told us can be too complex and distant from their own needs.
'I thank all those who took part so enthusiastically in the consultation process - the local and national business support organisations, trade associations, local authorities and major business representatives. By giving business more of a say in how support services are provided, we will more fully meet their needs and get the best value for money for the tax payer.'