Applications now open for innovative programme to stimulate economic growth

January 25, 2016

People in the Marches who are looking to grow their business and create new jobs are being offered fully funded training to help them achieve their goals.

Places are currently available on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme that supports SME owners and social enterprise leaders unlock the full potential of their organisation.

The Said Business School, University of Oxford, in partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation, is delivering this blended online and residential learning opportunity. Of those who have undertaken the programme to date, 90 per cent have created new jobs and 88 per cent have grown their revenue.

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the private sector-led organisation tasked with helping to create economic growth across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, is urging companies to take advantage of the scheme.

Marches LEP-Sonia Roberts copy

Marches LEP board member Sonia Roberts, an experienced professional in the charity sector who chairs both the Shropshire Providers Consortium and Shropshire Disability Network, has completed the training.

She said: “No matter what sector you are involved in, there are valuable lessons you will be able to learn from the programme.

“It is designed to specifically address the support gap for small enterprises and businesses, helping them to unlock their economic and job creation potential. It can very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operation of your organisation and miss opportunities to grow your business. I found the course incredibly useful and would recommend it to anyone.”

The four-month programme involves a combination of distance learning and residentials. Participants will benefit from specialist workshops, one-on-one business advising, business coaching, access to professional experts and networking opportunities.

For further information and eligibility criteria please click here

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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