A £250,000 project which will revolutionise the way businesses access support services across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin is being launched this week.
The Marches Growth Hub brings together local and national products and services available to support businesses whatever their sector, size or stage of growth, in one place for the first time.
The virtual hub, www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk, was launched today, October 21. The business-friendly website offers advice, guidance and a directory of support services for businesses. It will be supported by three hub sites, the first of which will open in Telford on October 22.
As well as the website, which has been developed by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and is aligned with the Business is GREAT campaign, businesses can contact a dedicated enquiry line at 0345 6000 727 for advice and support.
The Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin hub site is at the Telford Innovation Campus at Priorslee and has been funded by Telford & Wrekin Council, in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton, and The Marches LEP.
LEP Chairman, Graham Wynn, said: “The Marches Growth Hub is one of 30 developed across England at the request of the Government which recognised that support for businesses across the country had become patchy.
“Our own research found that businesses were confused by what products and services were on offer, and that they needed help to find relevant information on issues such as access to finance, skills, exporting and training.
“The Marches Growth Hub has been developed in partnership with businesses. More than 80 different products and services are listed on the website and it will be continually updated to ensure businesses can find relevant and up to date information and assistance in one place.
“The hub at the Telford Innovation Campus offers a face to face extension of this service and The Marches LEP is delighted to be working with its local authority partner here in Telford & Wrekin, as well as with the Telford Business Board and the University of Wolverhampton to deliver this vital new business resource.”
Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry & Enterprise, added: “Small businesses are Britain’s engine room. We are getting behind them so that they can create more jobs and opportunities across the country.
The Marches Growth Hub will play an important role in promoting enterprise in the region by ensuring businesses can access the national and local support they need to succeed.
“I’m confident it will help lots of entrepreneurs to boost their business, adding value through local expertise.”
The Telford hub will include facilities ideal for webinars and other interactive events, meetings and seminars and will be staffed by business support specialists who will be on hand to provide advice to all businesses.
A calendar of events taking place at the hub, to which businesses will be invited, has also launched today. The first event, the Telford Business Summit, focused on cyber security for businesses and also discussed the potential for creating a Cyber Security Centre of Excellence in Telford.