East Anglia: LEP’s New Anglia Growth Hub to support growing businesses
- Credit: Lucy Taylor
Free face-to-face business support, an online information portal and a new telephone helpline will become available to firms across Suffolk and Norfolk as the New Anglia Growth Hub launches tomorrow at the Suffolk Show.
The hub will act as a central point for companies and individuals and includes a network of nine mobile business growth advisers providing assistance and more detailed signposting to specialist innovation support if needed.
New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) secured funding for the hub as part of the Ipswich and Norwich City deals that will drive growth and investment across Suffolk and Norfolk.
It will be run for the LEP by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and will support 3000 businesses between May 2014 and June 2015.
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, said; “This is a major new initiative that puts business growth advisers on the ground across New Anglia to target expert help and support to start-up businesses as well as established enterprises.
“With the recovery gathering pace, this gives another welcome boost to growth, job opportunities and to local companies competing and winning in the marketplace. Help, support and advice is just a call or click away, so today we celebrate the Growth Hub being open for business.”
“John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said: “Despite recent economic challenges the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of firms in Suffolk and Norfolk has meant our local economy has continued to thrive.
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“The Growth Hub will play a fundamental role in the future success of businesses and will ensure the mechanisms are in place for financial advice and business support delivered by experts.”
And Chris Soule, chairman of the Suffolk branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, added: “New Anglia’s Growth Hub demonstrates that help and advice is evolving to meet the needs of local businesses. So come and give it a go and help us make it the best in the country.”
The Growth Hub portal, providing national and local business support can be found at www.newangliagrowthhub.co.uk . The telephone helpline for quick everyday support and to request an appointment with a growth adviser is 0300 456 3565 (9am to 6pm Monday to Friday)
The hub funding is part of a total £3.9m pot from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund via a bid through Lancaster University. It also includes a £1.4m Small Grant Scheme, offering £5,000 to £25,000 to create jobs in SMEs, £750,000 for a Business Start-Up Programme to increase the number of new enterprises, and an Innovation Voucher Scheme to provide specialist support, consultancy and mentoring from higher education centres including the University of East Anglia, University Campus Suffolk and Norwich University of the Arts.