Foreign companies considering a British base in the West Midlands can get help through the UK Market Access Program (UKMAP) – including six months free office space.

In a bid to get more long term overseas investment, the scheme offers a raft of support to help manage setting up a business in the region.

Firms which access UKMAP will be able to form a UK company for free, receive an official address and free company secretary, alongside an office in the University of Warwick Science Park.

Companies will also receive discounted rates on services such as market research, business lead generation and recruitment services.

Other partners in the programme include European Business Solutions, Techmark, The JMB Partnership and Estrelas Resourcing.

Dirk Schaefer, of the University of Warwick Science Park, who represents the partners, said: “We want to make it as easy and risk free as possible for overseas companies to be convinced that a UK office will work for them.

“We have made it easy for companies to come in but we have to make it clear to them before they arrive that it will be just as easy to decide not to pursue the UK office.

“That knowledge means it is less of a risk for them to come to the UK and, therefore, means they will be more willing to take a chance.

“All UKMAP partner companies were founding members to an early version of this programme supported by Advantage West Midlands.

“With the demise of the Regional Development Agencies we are determined that overseas companies should continue to receive quality support from the UK’s private sector.”

The precursor to UKMAP was an initiative called Bridge to Growth which helped around 100 new limited companies set up in the UK in the space of four years, the partners said.

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