SEMLEP to overhaul its ‘growing business’ directive to drive regional economic growth

A new single business support brokerage and diagnostic service, merging Velocity and Northamptonshire Growth Hubs will improve support on offer for businesses.


South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) - the government created, business-led partnership between public and private sector, charged with driving economic growth in the South East Midlands - is to restructure its ‘Growing Business’ programme from 1stJanuary 2019 to better serve enterprises as part of its drive to create the best environment to start-up and grow a business.

Governed by a business-led board, SEMLEP has a central role in determining local economic priorities and securing investment to support business innovation and growth. This is achieved through its ‘Growing Business’, ‘Growing People’ and ‘Growing Places’ workstreams, which link public and private sectors with academia to drive productivity, job creation and long-term sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Improving and developing its support for businesses in the area, SEMLEP is to restructure its ‘Growing Business’ arm, with the creation of a single Growth Hub, bringing together the current Velocity and Northamptonshire Growth Hubs, which operate across the SEMLEP region.

The new service will be the go-to place for business support in the South East Midlands, offering a single entry point for enterprises looking for help and advice around innovation and growth. The single Growth Hub will work proactively with private and public sector organisations to signpost businesses to the organisations with the best skill set to diagnose and solve any challenges they face.

This new operating model will ensure businesses have access to the very best support aligned with their needs, while offering a more efficient experience. It’s hoped that the new Growth Hub will also deliver a new £5million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project, which has been created to deliver enhanced funding and support for Scale-Up businesses who have the potential for significant expansion in the immediate future. Confirmation of this new project is expected early in the new year.

Announcing the changes to the ‘Growing Business’ workstream, Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive of SEMLEP, said:

“It is vital that we regularly review the needs of businesses and align those with the support available from public and private sector organisations to ensure we continue to offer the very best assistance to enterprises looking to start, grow and innovate.

“In line with our Strategic Economic Plan and our emerging Local Industrial Strategy, we have reviewed our ‘Growing Business’ workstream and concluded that we better support enterprises through the creation of a single brokerage service that will signpost businesses to the very best support in multiple areas.

“I’m excited to be announcing these changes and look forward to continuing to work with the talented, driven and ambitious enterprises within the South East Midlands to drive economic growth.”

Malcolm Johnson, SEMLEP Growth Hub manager, added:

“We know from speaking with thousands of businesses each year how beneficial they find our business support services and how our Growth Hubs play a critical role in unlocking barriers to growth and innovation.

“This move enables us to enhance the support we are offering businesses, building on the fantastic work that has been done at Velocity and Northamptonshire Growth Hubs and taking this to the next level in partnership with public and private sector organisations.”