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Delivering government growth priorities is central to ERDF and this is evident in the support given to Growth Hubs, which are at the heart of Local Enterprise Partnership business support provision across the country. Growth Hubs bring together public and private sector partners to promote, co-ordinate and deliver business support. They provide a mechanism for integrating national and local business support so it is easy for businesses to access by ensuring business support is simpler, more joined up and easier to access.
Here we look at how Sheffield City Region Growth Hub operates in more detail and the work it is doing to support and help grow local businesses.
The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub operates a Hub and Spoke model, which is focussed on a number of thematic areas, including:
- access to finance
- start up
- high growth
Within each spoke there are a number of external and also direct referral options to a range of local initiatives and projects, including ESF and ERDF projects:
The diagram below shows how complex it can look from a business’s perspective across the different spoke areas – ie if a business is trying to innovate, there may be hundreds of different options available to them to consider and when there are so many options and projects available to them it can be a confusing landscape. Growth Hubs can help simplify it and provide a single point of access where they can access ERDF projects, (bottom centre) as well as locally funded initiatives and access to the private sector.
The diagram below demonstrates an example of a client journey requesting some business advice:
If you are a business looking to get a product CE marked – Growth Hubs can advise with this too and help open up growth opportunities. Through the ERDF Enhancement Project, a business was able to get a 50% contribution towards accessing a specialist company to help them implement this and support business growth.