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Suzanne Caldwell Cumbria Business Growth Hub

Cumbria Business Growth Hub celebrates six years of success

Published on: Friday 10th August 2018

A business support programme has helped to create or safeguard 7,000 jobs.

Cumbria Business Growth Hub was established by Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and its partners to fill the void left by the demise of the national Business Link networks in 2012.

It has working with 7,200 business – delivering intensive support to 2,200 – and boosted the county’s economy by an estimated £300m, the chamber of commerce said.

Suzanne Caldwell, deputy chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Growth Hub focuses on working with Cumbrian businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, to help them operate more effectively, increase their productivity and maximise profits."

The Growth Hub model has been adopted by the Government for business support across the country.

Businesses can call on a team of experienced advisers who work one-to-one with them. They include specialists in ICT, marketing, human resources and finance.

Ms Caldwell added: "Advisers can help with grant applications and refer clients to initiatives run by the Growth Hub or others.

These initiatives include the BSUS programme for start-ups and the Subsidy Scheme, which offers grants to defray part of the cost of buying-in specialist consultancy.

The Growth Hub also delivers New Enterprise Allowance, a scheme to help unemployed people start a business.

There is help for exporters and businesses looking to innovate while the Supply Chain Gateway helps smaller businesses win contracts with large companies and the public sector.

Many services are free to eligible businesses thanks to funding from the chamber, its partners, and government and EU funding.

Ms Caldwell said: “We couldn’t have achieved this success without our partners, from government departments to local authorities, the University of Cumbria, Cumbria LEP, Lancaster University, training providers such as Gen2 and SP Training, and the county’s further education colleges.”

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