The Nottingham City Council team of the D2N2 Growth Hub has announced their involvement in a significant, Europe-wide programme which will support SMEs in Nottingham and across Europe to grow, or ‘scale up’ in regional, national and international markets.

Called SCALE UP, the project is overseen by Interreg Europe and contributes to European competitiveness and acceleration of regional economic growth through improvement of policy and delivery. It is designed to support SMEs capacity to grow and to enable regional and local authorities to respond adequately to key obstacles which may hamper SMEs on their path to growth.

The seven partners are: the Regional Development Agency of Murcia, Spain; Regionalmanagement Nordhessen GmbH, Germany; Regional Development fund on behalf of the Region of Attica, Greece; Lazio Innova, the regional company of European programs for innovation, Italy; Województwo Lubelskie, a Polish local public authority; Nottingham City Council, and the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA), based in Brussels, Belgium.

Over the next two years, the SCALE UP project will carry out four main actions:

  1. Identification and benchmarking of best-practices about industry business scale up policies at local, regional and EU level
  2. Development of six regional / local Stakeholder Action Groups (SAGs) enabling project partners to engage stakeholders from government, business and academic institutions
  3. Organisation of interregional policy learning events and peer reviews exercises in the communities of the project partners with the participation of the project SAGs
  4. Development of six action plans based on the interregional policy learning platform to be then implemented by the project partners

European collaboration is seen by Nottingham City Council and the D2N2 Growth Hub as a way to support local SMEs and residents to benefit from Europe’s prosperity, opportunities for job creation and global prospects for business. SCALE UP complements activity already taking place in Nottingham City, funded by European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) and led by Nottingham Trent University with East Midlands Chamber.

Nottingham’s own up-scaler offers businesses comprehensive business diagnostic, workshops, recruitment and talent management and support with resilience and productivity plus peer-to-peer networking, coaching, graduate placements and grants.

Working alongside European policy makers enables the D2N2 Growth Hub to contribute to the success of local businesses on a much wider stage and face global developments such as climate change, fierce global competition, the rapid development and transformation of technologies and the need for new skills for adapting to technological and societal changes.

SCALE UP is being seen as a new integrated approach to sustainable growth which highlights that contributions from different relevant policy areas with carefully chosen and well-targeted policy measures are more efficient together and offer more synergies than separately.

Taking part in SCALE UP will enable Nottingham City Council and the D2N2Growth Hub, which supports Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) across the region, to gather and promote innovative and successful good practice of European and local businesses and partners, creating a regional system to support business scaling.

According to the Annual Report on European SMEs 2017/2018, EU’s start-ups and scale-ups benefited from the economic upswing, in fact the number of SMEs in the EU-28 enhanced by 13.8% between 2008 and 2017. SMEs made a significant contribution to the recovery and subsequent expansion of the EU-28 economy. In addition, from 2008 to 2017, SMEs accounted for 47% of the total increase of the value added generate by the non-financial business sector, and for 52% of the cumulative increase of employment in the sector.

Find out more at