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Shropshire’s gateway for business support officially launched its newly-expanded offices at a special event at its Shrewsbury base.
Shropshire Council Deputy Leader Cllr Steve Charmley cut the ribbon as the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire took the wraps off the new office space at its site on Battlefield Enterprise Park.
The hub – a partnership between the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Shropshire Council – provides expert help, advice and support to businesses across the county to help them get started, grow and prosper.
Councillor Charmley, cabinet member for assets, economic growth and regeneration, said the Shropshire hub had come a long way since its launch in 2016.
He told guests at the opening of the expanded offices the hub had assisted all sizes of businesses over the last three years, including Wem-based Oakland Farm Eggs, for which it had recently helped secure funding which would create 20 new jobs.
"The hub helps every size of business from start-ups to those at the largest end of the scale, and it is great to see that you have the scale and scope to deliver the full range of support which business needs.
"The team here does a wonderful job and by working in partnership with the council we have been able to achieve great things for Shropshire business and the Shropshire economy."
Marches Growth Hub Chairman Paul Hinkins told guests the hub played a vital role in firing up the local economy and highlighted the importance of the recently-launched £10million Growth Challenge.
"We have access to a huge pot of funding from both the European Regional Development Fund and Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and we are working with all our fantastic local businesses to ensure as much of the money as possible is used to create new jobs, help businesses grow and bring continued prosperity to our region."
Marches Growth Hub Shropshire Manager Emma Chapman said she was delighted with the extra space, which would help the team support even more businesses over the coming years.
"In the last year we have supported 3,065 businesses, a 400% increase from the previous year, delivered 120 events and helped 336 businesses start-up, which is 34% of all businesses supported through the Growth Hub, as well as providing advice and support to help established businesses to grow."
The special event on Tuesday also featured a networking session and showcased three businesses which had received help from the growth hub; Shrewsbury-based Planet Doughnut and Chocolicious, and artist Amanda Hillier Design.