The Marches Growth Hub offers a single point of access to information and guidance on business support available to enterprises across the region, regardless of sector or size of development.
Developed by The Marches LEP, the virtual hub is a business-friendly website (www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk), 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.
The website is supported by a dedicated enquiry line 0345 6000 727 and physical hub sites in Telford & Wrekin, Shrewsbury and Hereford. You can view a short video about the Marches Growth Hub at the end of this page.
Marches Growth Hub Management
The Marches LEP manages The Marches Growth Hub and holds quarterly Growth Hub Steering Group and two monthly Growth Hub Operational meetings.
Growth Hub Steering Group
The Steering Group provides guidance on key issues such as policy and objectives, budgetary control, marketing strategy and resource allocation. The aims and objectives of the Steering Group are set out in the included in the Marches LEP Accountability and Assurance Framework. The working draft can be found here and The Marches LEP Board will be meeting on 21 May 2019 to consider the final draft and sign it off.
The Steering Group group is a sub-group of the LEP Board. The membership comprises senior representatives from the three local authorities, four representatives from the Business Boards, a representative from WiRE Member (private), a Chamber of Commerce representative, a representative from the Federation of Small Businesses, a skills representative and a local BEIS representative in addition to Growth Hub and LEP officers. The group is chaired by the Deputy Chair for the Marches LEP, Paul Hinkins who is also the Chair of one of the three Business Boards.
Growth Hub Operational Group
The aim of the group is to manage referrals and outputs from the virtual hub and the three physical hubs and to ensure inclusivity of key national business support providers and local delivery partners.
Currently, three local authorities, DIT, Green Shoots Plus and Economic Growth Solutions Ltd attend the meeting in addition to Growth Hub and LEP officers.
As the business support landscape evolves the membership of this group will be amended to ensure all key partners attend the meetings and report on performance, issues and challenges arising in our area. The Operations Group is Chaired by Chair of the Growth Hub Steering Group, Paul Hinkins.
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;
- universities, colleges and private training providers.
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.
This link takes you to a diagram that sets out how the Growth Hub Steering Group reports into the LEP Board, the reporting structure plus our three Business Boards.
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