£4m funding boost extends business support hub until next summer

Close to £4m of additional funding has been secured to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) across Nottingham and the wider area.

The D2N2 Growth Hub has received the money from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which will see it extended from 1 April this year to 30 June 2023.

Working across the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) region, and funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Growth Hub:

  • Employs 16 business advisers to offer SMEs a regular and comprehensive events programme
  • Provides impartial business information and diagnostics
  • Offers brokerage services to other established local business support organisations.

This funding award, due to be formally accepted at Executive Board on Tuesday, includes £3m to enable the continuation of Growth Hub services to ensure SMEs can find the right support for their needs, and £900,000 of additional Business Investment Fund (BIF) money. This provides smaller grants of between £3,000 and £30,000 to local firms.

On top of £2.1m already committed, this will bring the total BIF support to £3m since April 2019.

The Growth Hub has worked with more than 10,000 businesses across the D2N2 area in the past five years, of which around 2,500 have been in Nottingham. The City Council is the accountable body for the project.

Councillor Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth and Economic Development, said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve secured this additional money from the Government and that we can commit to a further 15 months of dedicated support to small and medium-sized businesses across Nottingham.

“The Growth Hub provides cash grants to help local firms to grow and expand, as well as providing specialist advice and guidance to business owners. This is invaluable and is a key factor in supporting the local economy.

“I’d urge people to take a look at the hub website to discover more about how we can offer bespoke support to their businesses.”

Christopher Pook, D2N2 Growth Hub Manager, said: “The extension of the Growth Hub to June 2023 is great news for the economy of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire as we can continue to support SMEs to grow their business. Alongside the core advisory services and grant funding through our Business Investment Fund to improve productivity, it also provides dedicated advisory resource to support SMEs on their journey towards net-zero.”

John Tchoudi, Director of Grass-Fields, an African print clothing design company based in Nottingham, said: “The support the D2N2 Growth Hub has given us has been invaluable. The 10KSB course on its own has been worth its weight in gold in terms of how I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned to help grow the business.

“The past 18 months have been really tough for everyone, but the support has enabled us to get through it, protect the business and come out of the other side in good shape. Our future is in our own hands. We’d recommend the Growth Hub service to any business that’s looking to scale up.”

Ashleigh Bossman, founder of Cook It Up, a Hucknall-based food delivery business, said: “The Growth Hub has been brilliant in its support and the depth of knowledge shared. The online sessions have been invaluable and a great learning opportunity for anyone on an entrepreneurial journey.”

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