A new service to help businesses access the best possible advice to help them grow has been officially launched by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.
The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Growth Hub is designed to be a single point of contact for all businesses across the nine local authority areas, from Thorne in the north to Ashbourne in the south, Penistone in the west to Retford in the east and anywhere in between.
The Growth Hub, which has core funding of £4.82m, acts as a ‘gateway’ for businesses to access specialist support in a number of key areas to enable growth, including innovation, exporting, accessing finance and training. Businesses can contact the Growth Hub via phone or online.
The launch follows a successful pilot project, which has already helped more than 300 businesses, and is part of a national roll out of 39 Growth Hubs across the country, funded by central Government.
Head of the SCR Growth Hub, David Grimes, said:
The Growth Hub means that wherever you are in the Sheffield City Region you will have the same access to the same level of support, as we are working with a wide range of partners.
Whether your business is large or small, new or well-established, you will have just one place to go to find out about, and access, the best possible advice that suits your needs.
The Growth hub is working with, and will be signposting to, industry experts, including successful companies, consultancies, universities, Chambers of Commerce and local authorities, and national provision such as Innovate UK, UK Trade and Investment and a wide range of other business support partners.
Businesses may also be offered direct support and guidance from one of the Growth Hub’s own business growth advisors; all of whom have extensive experience of running businesses.
As well as the core funding, the SCR Growth Hub includes a £22m Business Investment Fund, a Skills Bank fund of more than £17m and access to the Sheffield City Region European Structural Funds of approximately £90m.
The Growth Hub is overseen by the Business Growth Board, which is made up of representatives from the public and private sector, and reports directly to the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Board.
The overall ambition of the Sheffield City Region LEP is to help create 6,000 new businesses and 70,000 new jobs by 2025, by encouraging innovation, investment and collaboration.
Paul Houghton, chair of the Business Growth Board and managing partner of Grant Thornton in Sheffield, said:
The official launch of the Growth Hub is great news for businesses across our region. It is all part of the LEP’s ambitions to grow the city region economy by working together to create a stronger and bigger private sector that can compete in national and global markets.
Whether you are a creative technology start-up looking for financial advice or business training, a manufacturer looking to export your product to a new overseas market, or any other business looking to grow and expand, then the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub can help you access the support that you need.
Diana Terris, chief executive of Barnsley Council, one of the nine local authorities within the Sheffield City Region, said:
We welcome this new support service, because we know that the public sector and private sector working together will make our region stronger. We have shown that in Barnsley with our own ‘Enterprising Barnsley’ business support programme, which will now form part of the overall Growth Hub offer.
To compete on a national and international stage we know we need the best support for our businesses and this is what the Growth Hub will give us.