NEW or expanding businesses applying for grants will get more money in they pay staff the “living wage.”

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority, of which City of York Council is part, has recently revised the criteria of its Business Growth Programme – a scheme to provide financial support to businesses in the area.

When a business applies for such a grant, the support it gets can include a set amount of money for each job created.

Under new criteria, which comes into play next month, businesses that have successfully applied for the grants will get up to £12,500 for every new employee paid the living wage (£8.50 an hour). The grant falls to £7,500 if the new job is on minimum wage (£7.83 an hour).

The authority says the new criteria will “better target limited public support at those businesses seeking to ‘get ahead of the curve’ on matters such as in-work progression, apprenticeships, and boosting productivity.”