A new initiative to support Herefordshire businesses and drive up growth in the region has been welcomed following its official launch.
More than 80 representatives from the business community attended a free drop-in Business Support Showcase held to mark the launch of the Marches Growth Hub, Herefordshire on November 17.
The Marches Growth Hub is a £250,000 project to simplify and streamline business support services available to businesses. The funding was secured by The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and the Marches Growth Hub is one of 30 developed across England.
It includes a business support website – marchesgrowthhub.co.uk– and a dedicated phone line on 0345 6000 727 that businesses can use to access funding, support and advice.
There is also a physical hub based within the new University of Wolverhampton Business Solutions Centre on the Hereford Enterprise Zone at Rotherwas, where people can access face-to-face advice and support. The Hereford hub is one of three in the Marches region.
Gill Hamer, Director of the Marches LEP, said: "We were delighted with the turnout for the first event at the Marches Growth Hub, Herefordshire. There was great enthusiasm for this major initiative that will revolutionise the way that businesses can access support.
"We were able to illustrate how the Marches Growth Hub acts as a ‘one stop shop’ and will streamline the process of accessing information and support.
"The hub at the Enterprise Zone will also provide an important resource and facilities for businesses and we’re looking forward to a full calendar of events that will support new and established business."
Councillor David Harlow, from Herefordshire Council, added: ""The Growth Hub is a particularly valuable resource for the county, which has a higher than average proportion of self-employed people in comparison to other parts of the country.
"This facility will be invaluable for many by providing support, advice and access to funding as well as training which is local and therefore accessible."