Hereford event will take the mystery out of innovation

April 11, 2023

Businesses from across the Marches are being invited to a free event which will take some of the mystery out of innovation.

The Marches Growth Hub and Innovate UK have teamed up to stage the workshop in Hereford next month to give businesses an expert insight into how innovation can help them thrive and grow.

Specialist speakers will cover a range of topics – including some of the funding available to businesses to help them innovate – at the 9am event on May 22 at the Shell Store on Skylon Park.

The growth hub – the business support service of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership – says the event will demystify the issue of innovation.

Marches LEP chief executive Rachel Laver said: “If you want to hear from experts about how your business can be supported to grow and become more successful, this event is for you.

“The purpose of this workshop is to demystify innovation and highlight some of the support and funding available. Many businesses often do not realise how they are already innovating and what support is available for some of the work they are already doing.”

Speakers at the workshop will include Rachel Cheetham, Lawson Coombes and Eamonn O’Connor from Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency which helps businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services.

They will examine just what innovation is, their role in helping businesses and some of the funding and support available to companies to help them grow through innovation.

There will also be a session on research and development tax relief with Mick Merrick of  Integrated Growth Solutions, and Barry Jones will discuss the Made Smarter programme which  helps manufacturing businesses adopt digital technologies, innovation and skills to grow.

There will also be networking opportunities with tea, coffee and pastries on arrival and during a break at 10am. The workshop is scheduled to finish at 11.15am.

For more details and to register visit

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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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