The Government announced today that 20 of its empty buildings will be made available for start-up businesses.

Aspiring entrepreneurs will have the chance to use property in 18 locations, including Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and London, to help grow their businesses.

The Government is inviting business start-up organisations to manage and allocate the available property space, as well as to provide advice to the new businesses that will occupy them.

It aims to offer as much space as possible to small upcoming businesses, allowing them the opportunity to grow and support the economy at low cost.
Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

"Many entrepreneurs struggle to find a suitably flexible and affordable space to start their business, so this is a practical measure which the Government is taking to support the next generation of businesses. Opening up areas that are not being used will give entrepreneurs access to the space they need to start and grow."

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:

"In some cases it's not possible to sell a building or exit a lease immediately when the space is no longer needed. Rather than letting these buildings sit empty at the taxpayers' expense, we are making this space available to SMEs. This is an innovative measure that will support British business."

The news comes as the British Chambers of Commerce slashed its growth forecast for the UK to just 0.1% for the entirety of 2012.