Online Help For Businesses Following Closure of BusinessLink Website

17th October 2012

A new centralised Government website has launched today to replace both the Businesslink and Directgov websites.

The www.gov.uk BETA site has been live since February this year, and the finished site launches today. The £1.7m project was launched following a 2010 review of the Government's online services by Martha Lane-Fox, founder of Lastminute.com. The site is the new home for government services and information online, and has been built by the Government Digital Service (GDS). It has been built to make it simpler, clearer and faster for people to find what they need from government. Initially, www.gov.uk will be handling traffic to Directgov and Businesslink. Both of those sites will be switched off from 17 October, and people who use old links to visit them will be redirected to the new site. Whenever possible, they'll be taken directly to updated content on the new site. The launch is the first step towards making www.gov.uk the definitive website for people interacting with central government. More content from government departments and bodies will be incorporated over time, reducing the complexity currently experienced by our users and the cost incurred by the government. All the information from the previous sites has been redesigned and rewritten to be more user friendly. Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said the new joined-up services site will save the taxpayers up to £70m per year by reducing duplication of resources. He added that more savings are expected as 24 government departments and other agencies move on to the Gov.UK platform in March next year. Press releases and policy announcements from the government departments will be available from the Inside Government section of Gov.UK, and citizens will be able to carry out all their transactions with government departments from one single site. Mr Maude said: "www.gov.uk is focused on the needs of users, not the needs of government. It has been planned, written, organised and designed around what users need to get done, not around the ways government want them to do it. In the way it has been built and will continue to be updated and improved on the basis of experience and user feedback Gov.UK is an example of how the civil service should keep continuously changing and remain focused on outcomes." HMRC has produced a factsheet about how the proposed changes may affect local businesses. To view it, click here.

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