York needs to create its own fund to develop and nurture the city’s knowledge-based business economy, according to a leading adviser.
David Dickson, senior partner with York-based accountants Garbutt & Elliott, was speaking in the wake of a new technology report, which highlighted the lack of available finance for innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The report, commissioned by Pera Technology, argued that business finance was essential to support the economic growth of our emerging creative and technology companies
Mr Dickson, who sits on the board of both Science City York and the CBI, said: “The time is now drawing near when we have to develop our own ‘Road to York’ fund to secure the necessary finance available to support our growing businesses and to increase employment.
“The Pera Report was timely as it drew attention to the problem of lack of finance for SME businesses who innovate through new product development or commercial research within the knowledge-based economy.
“The city of York has been a pioneer in nurturing and promoting creative and technology companies, with the successful Science Park at the University of York being a classic example of this. The growth of the scientific, creative and digital sectors in York has played a crucial role in rebalancing the city’s economy.”
Lack of finance is restricting new product development, particularly among engineering and technology companies.
“Obviously there is much work to be done to set up a ‘Road to York’ fund, not least deciding on who is going to run it, but such a fund would provide a timely and much-needed stimulus to the Greater York economy and help to bridge this dangerous and debilitating funding gap,” Mr Dickson said.
The Pera Technology Report revealed that 91 per cent of SMEs were failing to innovate via new product development or commercial research, which potentially had “severe implications” for the UK’s economic recovery and competitiveness.