South Swindon MP Robert Buckland welcomed new figures showing more than £500 million has been awarded to small businesses across the country – and is urging more entrepreneurs in south Swindon to apply.

Firms in the area received over £727,299 in support from 73 loans awarded to them from the Start Up Loans programme.

Mr Buckland said: “It’s fantastic news that over £500 million has already been used to support smaller firms across the country, including here in South Swindon.

“Now I’m urging more small and start up businesses here to apply for this support, which will help them to boost their productivity and create new jobs.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and through the modern Industrial Strategy and schemes like the Start Up Loans programme, the government is determined to support them.”

Since 2012, the programme issued almost 65,000 loans to entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country.

The government is providing more than £13 billion of business rates support over the next few years and tackling delays in payments to small businesses.