Full speed ahead for launch of new business support serviceMay 28, 2014
The Velocity Growth Hub aims to provide a range of business support services, including the help of an experienced business adviser, one-to-one mentoring, an online portal, telephone helpdesk and events.
The scheme is backed by £1.75 million from the government’s Regional Growth Fund through growth delivery agency the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.
Velocity was unveiled to an audience of around 80 businesspeople in the new Visitors Centre at Bletchley Park. SEMLEP chief executive Daniel Mouawad said: “Milton Keynes is an integral part of our wider economic geography. This is a significant opportunity for businesses.”
A key aim of the Velocity Growth Hub is to create and protect at least 300 jobs. It also aims to attract £2 million of private sector investment and to engage with around 15,000 businesses by June next year.
Access to funding remains a major challenge for businesses, said Emmanuelle Clément, business adviser for Milton Keynes. “We are actively looking for business owners 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.”
The service is to be delivered by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce. Chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “Velocity is very exciting. Access to finance is a key element of the service.”
The event also heard from Bletchley Park Trust chief executive Iain Standen, who gave an overview of the park’s development into a world-class visitor attraction with annual income of £3 million and attracting 150,000 visitors a year.
The Trust is to open the newly refurbished parts of the site, including the Visitor Centre, later this month. “Visitor numbers are already up by 15 per cent on last year and we are expecting them to increase once we open the new facilities,” Mr Standen said.
- Full report and pictures: Read the latest edition of Business MK, out this week.