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Velocity growth hub backs expanding businesses

The Velocity Growth Hub will be unveiled on Friday over breakfast at Bletchley Park.

Velocity, a business support initiative provided free for companies across the South East Midlands, has been made possible thanks to grants worth £1.75 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund through Lancaster University and South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.

The growth hub has been set up to make it easier for businesses to maximise their growth potential with grants of up to £5,000 available.

Velocity is also providing free help and support via an online portal www.velocitygrowthhub.com as well as one-to-one mentoring and support from locally-based Business Advisers.

Emmanuelle Clément (pictured) is the Velocity Growth Hub business adviser for Milton Keynes.  She has begun work suporting businesses to help them achieve their growth plans.

She said: “We are hearing all the time from SMEs who need funding that they are being turned down by banks. This is where Velocity Growth Hub can help as we can provide grants of up to £5,000 to businesses who need a cash injection to expand and develop.

“We are actively looking for business owners in Milton Keynes who would benefit from grant funding, mentoring and support and will work with them on a one-to-one basis to set out realistic and measurable growth plans and help turn these plans into reality.”

SEMLEP is to manage the roll-out of the Velocity Growth Hub across the sub-region.

Chief executive Daniel Mouawad said: “This is a significant opportunity for businesses in Milton Keynes. The funding we have received from Lancaster University has enabled us to develop a completely free business support programme and we hope as many businesses as possible contact us to see how we could help them.

“One of the main objectives of Velocity Growth Hub is to increase employment opportunities and our aim is to create and protect at least 300 jobs across the South East Midlands with some of these being in Milton Keynes itself.”

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: "Small businesses are the cornerstone upon which our long term economic plan is built. In order for them to thrive they need the support to start up and scale up.

"The launch of the all new Growth Hub in Milton Keynes is a positive step to providing the right environment for ambitious small businesses to grow and access the help they need."

Velocity Growth Hub has been designed to attract over £2 million of private sector investment and to engage with around 15,000 businesses by June 2015.

For more information, visit www.velocitygrowthhub.com