More than 2,800 businesses across the region received support to help them develop from the Humber Business Growth Hub last year.
This brings the total number of businesses supported by the scheme to 9,342 since the Growth Hub was established by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in 2014.
This business support comes in ‘light’, ‘medium’ and ‘high’ intensity assistance, with some businesses receiving over 12 hours of dedicated one-to-one advisor support to help with their growth plans. Delivered through a network of growth hub advisors working with local authorities across the Humber area – from Bridlington through to Goole, Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Hull and everywhere in between – the support provided by the Growth Hub is completely free of charge.
In addition the businesses supported, during 2018/19 Growth Hub advisors assisted 23 businesses to apply for, and be awarded, capital grant funding from the Humber LEP’s ‘Growing the Humber’ grant scheme.
These awarded grants totalled £802,317 and 67 new jobs were pledged to be created as part of the grant funding offers.
Not only this, but 45 individuals were also supported to start their own businesses.
The Growth Hub was set up in 2014 after the Humber LEP successfully bid for £2.5m through the City Deal to create the Growth Hub, which increased the number of business support advisers, located with partners around the Humber, who are tasked with helping businesses to find the advice and funding they require.
Last year, the LEP and local authority partners secured £6m of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to expand the Growth Hub, which has enabled it to start three new projects to support SMEs under the #GrowMySME programme – the Finance for Growth Scheme, the ICT for Growth Scheme and the Business Growth Scheme.
The Growth Hub is supported and funded by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
One business that was supported by the Growth Hub is Cool Energy Holding Ltd in Grimsby, which was helped to innovate their manufacturing process to take advantage of the rapidly developing emerging technology of air sourced heat pumps.
Growth Hub Business Advisor Tim Maddinson met with the company’s Managing Director Chris Gray and Chairman John Fenty to carry out a business needs analysis.
It became clear that the business needed to access sources of finance and grant funding to implement this innovative new manufacturing process and renovate commercial premises to play host to the manufacturing process.
Tim supported the company to create a business plan and financial forecasts, this then allowed the company to submit a full application to the Humber LEP’s ‘Growing the Humber’ capital grant scheme, which Tim provided intensive support with compiling together with all supported documentation.
Tim also referred the company to Lincoln University for an innovation grant and South Holland District Council for a growth grant.
The company was awarded a £38,500 capital grant from the Humber LEP Growing the Humber grant scheme in September 2018, which unlocked £168,000 of private match funding from the company’s owners and resulted in two full time jobs being created – a Trainee Warehouseman and an Office Manager.
This also led to the renovation of a previously derelict three-storey commercial property to house the company’s new manufacturing arm, which now plays host to warehousing, a showroom, a training facility and office space.
The company was also awarded a £10,000 innovation grant from the University of Lincoln and a £5,400 grant from the South Holland District Council’s ‘Grants4Growth’.
Recruitment of additional time-served engineers is now underway to help support company growth.
Company Chairman John Fenty said: “Moving into this property has enabled us to advance our plans much more quickly. The business is growing and we’re increasing capacity. Sales are already double what we projected.
“We’d like to give our utmost thanks to Tim Maddinson and the Growth Hub. The funding has helped the business to progress as planned, and their input has been invaluable. They are more than able to steer you in the right direction, and it is surprising how much support there is out there for businesses in our region.”
Jo Smedley, the Humber LEP Small Business Champion, said: “I am delighted that the Humber Business Growth Hub is going from strength to strength and continuing to support thousands of businesses across the Humber.
“This of course could not have been achieved without our partners and a hugely dedicated network of Growth Hub advisers, who work tirelessly to support businesses throughout the region.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are a vital part of the Humber’s economy, and support like that offered through the LEP and our partners will help more businesses to start and thrive in our region.”
To find out more about the Humber Growth Hub, visit www.humbergrowthhub.org/ or follow them on Twitter via twitter.com/@humbergrowth.