DRAGONS' Den star Piers Linney has landed a top role advising government ministers on how to help more small companies win business contracts in the public sector.

Piers, the multi-millionaire co-chief executive of Manchester-based firm Outsourcery, has joined a government panel which suggests policy and initiatives on small and medium-sized businesses issues.

He will be providing insights and expertise from the IT industry to the Cabinet Office SME Panel, which was founded in 2011, which falls under Business Secretary Vince Cable's remit.

Piers, 43, who moved to Bacup from his mother’s homeland, Barbados, at the age of nine, said: “There is a lot of money to be had in providing government and local authorities’ services.

“Whether you have a small company that supplies carpets, curtains, lights, IT services, or whatever, it will be needed on a large scale by the public sector.

“It is mutually beneficial for the public sector and small businesses to work together, because the customer will get a good quality service at a good price, and the company will be able to grow.

"The public sector provides a massive opportunity for small businesses, which are the engine of the economy.”

Stephen Allott, the crown representative for small and medium-sized businesses, said: "The SME panel has been doing a fine job in acting as a sounding board for Cabinet Office policies and offering excellent advice at how best to make it easier for smaller firms to pitch for and win government business.

"Piers will offer the board further experience from the IT sector and we look forward to his input.”