The Marches Growth Hub supported more than 8,500 businesses across the region in the last financial year, new figures show today.
The hub – the acclaimed business support arm of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership – also delivered 158 events which were attended by 3,323 businesses and 3,491 people.
The figures – which cover the year from April 1 2022 to March 31 2023 – reveal that:
- 8,555 businesses received some form of support from the Growth Hub
- 8,747 individuals were also helped with business support, advice or information
- 405 businesses – with a combined turnover of more than £160m – received more intensive help such as diagnostic support and brokerage
- 85 businesses – with a combined turnover of £122m – received high intensity support
- 354 events/webinars were promoted on the Marches Growth Hub website
- The website also featured more than 130 new support initiatives
The figures – compiled in a year-end report for the Department of Business and Trade – also show that there were 17,236 unique visitors to the hub’s website, reflecting its position as the home of comprehensive business support information across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
Marches LEP chief executive Rachel Laver said: “These figures show that the Marches LEP and Growth Hub are delivering real results for businesses right across the region.
“Our website, and the three physical hubs run in partnership with our local authority partners in Hereford, Shrewsbury and Telford, have become a truly trusted resource for thousands of businesses since they were launched in 2015.
“They bring together the widest possible range of business information, advice, support and funding all under one roof, making them the front door for all business support in the Marches.
“Gone are the days when businesses did not know where to turn for support and help – the Marches Growth Hub is the perfect starting point for all their needs.”
Marches LEP small business champion Dave Courteen said the Growth Hub was now established as a vital part of the business landscape.
“The number of businesses the Growth Hub has helped to get up and running, or supported to grow, is phenomenal. Just this last year an additional £5,000 was secured to market the Business Growth Programme (BGP2) ahead of its closure, which led to a big spike in inquiries and referrals. As a result, more than £1.6m of grant funding was awarded to 37 projects creating 194 jobs.
‘That is just a snapshot of the power of the Growth Hub to support businesses on the ground, and I look forward to it continuing that success in the coming year.”