Press release

Long term export support confirmed for small and medium sized firms

Government signs new 5 year contracts with locally based providers to deliver export support to businesses.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The government will sign new 5 year contracts with locally based providers to deliver export support to businesses, Trade Minister Lord Livingston announced today (18 February 2015).

The preferred bidders have been chosen by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the length of contracts will give businesses consistency and underline the government’s long term commitment to increase the number of companies that export.

All the providers will be locally based, helping companies start exporting or increase their overseas business by finding customers in new markets, taking part in trade shows and exporting online around the world.

The lengths of the contracts also mean that English companies will be eligible to bid for up to £100 million in additional export support through the European Structural & Investment Funds.

Trade Minister Lord Livingston said:

I am delighted that we can commit to long term contracts and provide the support that businesses need to break into new markets creating jobs and growth for their region.

UKTI will be working with locally based organisations, including social enterprises and Chambers of Commerce, to ensure that public money is targeted at where it is most needed and spent responsibly.

UK Trade and Investment helped a total of 47,960 businesses in 2013 to 2014 to export for the first time or find new markets through its extensive network of specialists in the UK and in British embassies around the world.

The preferred bidders are:

  • South West – Business West incorporates the Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Chambers
  • South East – GLE, a not for profit SME specialist
  • London – GLE
  • East – Exemplas Trade, owned by University of Hertfordshire
  • East Midlands – EMB, a not for profit business 75% owned by East Midlands Chambers of Commerce – the Chambers covering Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Northampton
  • West Midlands – West Midlands LLP, a partnership of all West Midlands Chambers of Commerce
  • North East – North East Chamber of Commerce
  • North West – Chamber Link who contract with 6 major North West (NW) Chambers of Commerce and other NW Chambers for the delivery of UKTI services
  • Yorkshire and Humber – Enterprise Growth Solutions, a partnership of Exemplas and Reed Solutions

Notes to editors

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. It also helps overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. It provides companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.

Published 18 February 2015