A new service which is helping Cornwall’s businesses meet regulations has won a national award. The Business Regulatory Support Service, which is run by Cornwall Council, won the Business Support category of the Better Regulation Awards 2017.

Set up in January 2016, the Business Regulatory Support service offers businesses a single point of contact for advice on regulations, from food hygiene and licensing to planning and fire safety.

The new service was set up as a result of business feedback channelled through the Better Business for All partnership, driven by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP. Better Business for All is committed to improving the way regulation is delivered to help Cornwall’s businesses grow, save time and money.

Responding to feedback from Cornwall’s businesses that the Council’s regulatory services were difficult to access, Better Business for All brought about a simpler approach. For the first time, businesses now have a single point of contact for regulatory support.

Through the new service, Cornwall Council achieved a 16.5% increase in the number of businesses contacting them for support in 2016. There was a particular increase in start-up businesses seeking help, with 75% of new food businesses receiving advice from the Council’s regulatory teams, compared to only 12% in 2015.

The service gives advice on regulations across environmental health, licensing, trading standards, planning and building control and fire safety.

The new hub also offers a number of new specialist support packages for new and existing businesses. These include food and safety advice, product labelling and environmental protection support to help businesses making planning applications. Others are being developed for fire protection and business continuity planning assistance.

Brett Holmes and Mark Luxton from Cornwall Council were presented with the award by representatives from Regulatory Delivery, which is part of the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industry Strategy, at an event in Birmingham.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection, Sue James, said: “I’m delighted that the innovative way we offer a one stop shop support and advice service to all sorts of businesses, has been recognised through this national award. Staff help businesses get things right first time in a friendly and professional manner. Those using the service have given positive feedback telling us the service helps them save time thus enabling them to concentrate on building up their business.”

LEP Board Director Sarah Trethowan said: “Winning this national award shows how much we have achieved in helping Cornwall’s businesses meet regulations. The success of the Business Regulatory Support Service is the result of genuine collaboration between Cornwall Council, the LEP and the business community.

“When we first started out with the Better Business for All programme we found that regulations were a really barrier to growth for Cornwall’s businesses. A key issue was that many business owners found it difficult to navigate regulations and find the advice they needed. The Business Regulatory Support Service has completely changed the way regulations are delivered in Cornwall, making it much easier and simpler for businesses to get advice. It is great to have that achievement recognised at a national level.”