Government awards £1m to regional growth initiative

Dec 29, 2013

VeloCITY will be a single point of contact and support for the 141,000 companies based in the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership’s economic area when it goes live in early 2014.


The money has come via the government’s Regional Growth Fund.


The online portal, which will be supported by experts based at local Chambers of Commerce, will provide a personalised service to every business which seeks its support and advice.


Businesses logging on will be signposted to existing national and local business support services and many will also receive individual support from the growth hub team, as well as access to subsidised business growth programmes.


SEMLEP chief executive Daniel Mouawad (pictured) said: “Our VeloCITY growth hub will manage, roll-out and deliver successful programmes that create new jobs and catalyse business growth across the South East Midlands. 


“VeloCITY will be open to all businesses seeking support. In addition we will have tailored and subsidised one-to-one support for businesses in our target sector areas.”

These are:
  • Advanced manufacturing;
  • High performance technology;
  • Logistics;
  • Creative and design;
  • Financial and business services;
  • Pharmaceuticals and healthcare.


Allocation of the Regional Growth Fund is through Lancaster University. As well as helping to decide which cities’ proposals received funding, Lancaster University academics will also be providing on-going support and evaluation.


Lancaster, which was named as a top ten university for SME engagement by the recent review by Sir Andrew Witty, was brought in because of its experience and expertise in working with business, local authorities, as well as Local Enterprise Partnerships and growth hubs.


It has worked with more than 5,000 SMEs since 1999. It has also helped the creation of more than 250 new business and more than 4,000 new jobs. 

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