Developed by The Marches LEP, the virtual hub is a business-friendly website, where start-ups, SMEs and large employers can search for products and services and be signposted to advice and support. It receives £205,000 a year from the Government to support its work.
Alongside the website, hub sites have opened in Telford, Shrewsbury and Hereford and it has a dedicated enquiry line at 0345 6000 727 which is operated and managed by the Marches LEP team. You can view a short video about the Marches Growth Hub at the end of this page.
Business Boards and SME Business Engagement
The Marches has three private sector Area Business Boards covering Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Telford & Wrekin. The 60-strong groups represent businesses across various sectors and have a two-way communication with the LEP through the Chairs of each Board, who sit on the LEP Board.
Also represented on the Area Business Boards are:
- the relevant area Chamber of Commerce;
- the Federation of Small Businesses;
- other business sector networks;
- the voluntary, community and Social Enterprise Sector;
- and the Rural Farming Network.
These Area Business Boards are not LEP Sub Groups, they have their own independent function and remit to provide a strategic role in supporting growth across their areas.
The inclusion of the three Area Board Chairs aims to:
- provide strong communications on business needs with the SME community;
- inform strategic business development
- engage with SMEs, sector champions as well as large employers through direct communication undertaken by the LEP with the wider business base.
The Growth Hub Steering Group Chair, Paul Hinkins, also performs a role in representing and engaging with the SME business community and the Growth Hub Steering Goup Terms of Reference can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
The Marches Growth Hub provides a virtual centralised information point for businesses seeking support, advice or information. Why not take a look now? Or you can view a short film below