University collaborates with local partners to form Northamptonshire Growth Hub
The University of Northampton, Northamptonshire County Council and Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership have announced the launch of the Northamptonshire Growth Hub. The three partners have come together to build a unique service to meet business requirements and economic objectives. Northamptonshire’s new Growth Hub clearly demonstrates the partners’ commitment to improving the economic prospects for the county without relying on or calling for central Government funding.
Findings from The Witty Review and The Department for Business Innovation & Skills highlighted the need for high quality business support. The Witty Review identified the university as a leader in the way it supports businesses including social enterprises and its links with local economic partnerships. Over the last three months, all three partners have been working together to develop the Growth Hub model in order to improve the support offered to Northamptonshire businesses.
The launch of the Growth Hub meets a number of the recommendations outlined in the Witty Review and Lord Young’s report. As of 8th November 2013, businesses based in Northamptonshire, whatever their size, can contact the Growth Hub.
The Hub provides a seamless referral to a comprehensive range of business support provided by trained and experienced business professionals working for local and national providers – all in one place. The service can be accessed via a single phone number and/or email address enabling direct engagement with advisors.
This launch comes on the same day as the deadline for 20 pilot regions to submit proposals for their own Growth Hubs, highlighting the proactive nature of the Northamptonshire partners.
Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor, The University of Northampton said: “We in the county are extremely proud of this partnership and we are proud of the fact that we have used our own initiative to launch a business support service which is dedicated to Northamptonshire. We are determined to support Northamptonshire’s existing and new businesses. Northamptonshire is a great place to live, work and in which to invest. The new Growth Hub is just one way in which the county’s partners are delivering transformational improvements.”
Tim Bagshaw, Head of Investment at Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership said: “The Growth Hub reflects the county’s innovative approach and commitment to supporting businesses and is set to become an important resource for enterprises in Northamptonshire. The county is at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery and with 50% more business start-ups than the national average, nurturing growing businesses is central to this continued growth.”
Cllr Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Working together to bring prosperity to the county is at the heart of what we are doing in Northamptonshire. The Growth Hub is a very exciting initiative which will provide a clear, central focal point for businesses to seek expert advice. This, combined with all the good work going on in the county, including the delivery of key infrastructure projects, is paving the way to growth as our economy moves further into recovery.”
The Growth Hub is open for business at 09:00 Friday 8th November 2013.
 Encouraging a British Invention Revolution: Sir Andrew Witty’s Review of Universities and Growth – University Interaction with Small Business, p. 68
 2012 Small Business Survey – Employers Report