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Full report: Businesses concerned over independence debate

Businesses in the south of Scotland say they are concerned that the debate about independence is causing uncertainty and could threaten jobs.

They were speaking as the Business Secretary Vince Cable set out what he says are the risks of a 'yes' vote in next year's referendum.

The First Minister has dismissed the analysis as "seriously flawed" and the SNP has called on Vince Cable to withdraw it.

However, he insists his paper is "positive and optimistic".

Matthew Taylor reports:

Bullough's building sold

The old Bullough's building which until recently has been used by Hoopers

The former Bullough's building in Carlisle has been sold at auction to an unknown buyer for more than a million pounds.

Retailer Hoopers left the city centre store in March after seven years.

The Bullough family had previously run a department store in the building for nearly a hundred years.

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How the Chancellor's Budget plans to help business

  • New Employment Allowance will take the first £2,000 off the employer National Insurance bill of every company in the country
  • Around 450,000 small businesses - one third of all employers - will pay no employer National Insurance at all after introduction of Employment Allowance in April next year
  • Small firms will be given help through Government procurement budgets, growth vouchers and controls on regulators' charges
  • The Capital Gains Tax holiday will be extended
  • Corporation tax to be reduced by a further 1% to 20% in April 2015
  • Small company and main rates of corporation tax merged at 20p

M6 Corridor to be 'an example for rural Britain'

An initiative by three Cumbrian Councils to agree to promote business and employment along the M6 corridor in the county has been praised.Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border said:

"The M6 corridor project is an excellent example of what we as MPs in Cumbria should be doing more of: working together for the greater good of our county, and putting party politics aside to highlight what we can do, in cooperation, to grow our economy, support our businesses and communities, and generate prosperity for all.

"The M6 is a symbolic road, stretching right through the heart of Cumbria, and is a lifeline to our businesses and industries. We want the M6 corridor to be an example for rural Britain, showing how we can attract investment and development that will power our economy as we move out of recession. I am delighted to be a part of this exciting project.”

– Rory Stewart MP

Councils work together to get Cumbria in fast lane

Three Cumbrian councils have agreed to work together to promote the economy in the county along the M6 from junctions 36 to 44.

The leaders of Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council and South Lakleand Council have each signed up to the 'M6 Corridor Initiative.'

The Initiative outlines that the councils will work collaboratively to:

  • Promote economic growth along the M6 corridor in East Cumbria
  • Provide employment sites within easy reach of main transport routes
  • Support development wherever it is most appropriate across the area
  • Improve infrastructure and communication networks along the corridor
  • Make it easier for businesses to relocate in the area
  • Seek to attract new and growing investment
  • Market the corridor as an area open for business
  • Work with partners such as the County Council and Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership to facilitate growth .

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