BUSINESS Link, which provides business support to over 100,000 businesses a year in the East of England, will offer even more comprehensive business support, skills advice and brokerage from April next year. The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) has announced EEIDB Ltd as the preferred provider for the new and improved Business Link, incorporating the current skills support offered by Train to Gain and making it easier and quicker for businesses to access the support they need through a single point of access. EEDA chairman Richard Ellis said: "Business Link really has established itself as the number one port of call for any business seeking support, particularly during the recession. Well over 100,000 companies a year go to Business Link for support with all sorts of challenges - everything from business planning to marketing advice, tips on starting a business or guidance on funding and finance. "Skills are clearly a major consideration for any business, as a skilled workforce is an adaptable workforce. By adding this region's skills support to Business Link's remit, EEDA provides a single port of call for companies and cuts out any confusion." EEIDB Ltd won a competitive tendering process to continue providing Business Link support to local companies across the East of England. EEDA makes this support available via a \u00A320 million grant. "When you invest in such a critical service for this region's businesses, it's absolutely essential that you get the best possible provider and value for taxpayers' money. From April 2010, we will reduce back office costs by around five per cent, and re-invest that money into front-line support for businesses," he added. "For the time being, it's business as usual for the team at Business Link and for any company looking for help and advice. EEDA will be working with EEIDB Ltd and the current providers of Train to Gain to ensure there is no disruption in support standards during the transition to a fully integrated provision.