Started: March 2016
The Heart of the South West Growth Hub is a Service for All contract which has been awarded to south west business support provider Serco.
The Growth Hub launched in March 2016 and is available for all businesses, whatever size or sector, in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. The aim of the new contract is to help over 4000 businesses in the three year period.
The Growth Hub is a single point of contact, completely free at the point of access, for all businesses seeking advice and support on any issues relating to the operations and aspirations of their business; signposting to international, national or local resources.
Enquiries can be about anything that a business may want to ask; whether they are looking for information on new funding opportunities from grants or loans, where to go for tax advice or help with their expansion plans, innovation or export.
A core value of the Heart of the South West Growth Hub is to simplify the often confusing range of local and national, public and private sector business support services that are on offer in the UK, so that businesses can make an informed choice about what type of support is best for them.
The signposting service is offered free as part of the HotSW LEP’s Growth Deal funding, and the expert business support advisors are on hand to deal with questions themselves or refer to experts in specialist areas.
The service is accessible through a website, telephone line and face to face workshops and clinics taking place at enterprise and innovation centres across the HotSW area.
Providing a top-quality, seamless business support service is a major part of the HotSW LEP’s strategy to generate transformational economic growth through a range of initiatives that will help businesses in the Heart of the South West grow, including infrastructure improvement, skills development and inward investment.
Following a thorough procurement process, the Heart of the South West Growth Hub contract was awarded to Serco for three years, and they work in partnership with the vast range of public and private sector partners and supporting organisations such as chambers of commerce, universities, FE colleges and charities that make up the business support landscape on a local and national level.
The Heart of the South West Growth Hub contract awarded to Serco contained provision for two extensions following the initial three years, with each extension lasting for twelve months,
Following approval of the LEP Board, the first of these extensions was enacted in March 2019, with the aim to help a further 1700 businesses.
Growth Deal 1 Funding: £1.06m
Total Funding: £2m
New Completion Date: March 2020
Growth Hub Evaluation
During the beginning of 2019 an evaluation of the Growth Hub was undertaken with the report being published in March.
The full report can be read by clicking on the following link: Heart of the SW Growth Hub evaluation – final report15-03-2019 (revised)