Valerie asks a Question on Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

 

At Questions to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP on Tuesday 11 January 2022  I asked the Secretary of State:

‘Will the Minister publish details of the Business Innovation Forum, and how they will hold the Government to account on distributing the Shared Prosperity Fund throughout the UK?’

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills George Freeman MP responded:

Yes, we are in the process of establishing the Business Innovation Forum. I want to make sure that we’re talking to not just the same old people, that government always talks to, but the companies on the front line, the leaders on the frontline, of the new sectors of tomorrow, in the Innovation Strategy we set out seven high-growth sectors, and I’ll be publishing details of that in due course.’

In March 2021 the then Secretary of State scrapped the Industrial Strategy Council, an external body which measured the success of his department’s Industrial Strategy. In July 2021 the department pledged to establish a new Business Innovation Forum to hold the government to account on its new Innovation Strategy. The Government announced that a Shared Prosperity Fund would be created after leaving the European Union to replace £2 billion received by the UK from the EU each year, which would be spent on reducing ‘inequality between communities’. (Conservative Manifesto 2017).  As at January 2022 the Business Innovation Forum had not been established, and few details of how the Shared Prosperity Fund would be spent had been announced.