New Shropshire business show hailed a success

December 7, 2018

A new Shropshire business show aimed at opening up export opportunities for firms across the county has been hailed a success.

The Business Growth and Export Show – staged by the Marches Growth Hub – attracted an audience of around 80 to Shrewsbury to hear expert advice from the Department for International Trade (DiT) and an inspirational talk from guest speaker Jo Fairley.
Representatives from DiT said they were delighted with the success of the event, which saw their special export truck packed out for a morning-long presentation and a number of new companies signing up for help to break into the export market.
Jo Fairley, co-founder of global chocolate brand Green & Black’s, praised the work of DiT and the Marches Growth Hub, and urged businesses to take advantage of all the help on offer to grow and begin trading overseas.
“I am a huge supporter of the work the growth hubs do and would urge every one of you here today to make the most of the expert free advice the Growth Hub can provide. I certainly wish that it had been around when I was starting out in business.”
Jo described how she had taken the chocolate brand from its launch in a bedroom of a flat in the Portobello Road to a globally-respected ethical brand now worth nearly £100million.
Her advice for exporting would be to not say yes to everybody when considering trading overseas.
The November 23 show at Shrewsbury Town’s stadium also featured an expo, networking event and interactive displays, and marked the start of the hub’s major Get Exporting campaign.
Paul Hinkins, Chairman of the Marches Growth Hub and vice-chairman of the Marches LEP, said the event had been a huge success.
“We were delighted to see so many new companies exploring the possibilities that exporting can bring, and Jo Fairley’s talk was both inspirational and practical, offering real-world advice and experience about growing a small business into an international brand.”
The event was also supported by Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses

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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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