Posted on October 23, 2018
Category: News Tags: ,

Growing businesses in the Humber will be able to access assistance offered as part of more than £6 million of European funding as three unique projects are launched in November.

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region could benefit from the three schemes offering one-to-one support, workshops / masterclasses and grants after the Humber Business Growth Hub was awarded the funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The projects will be launched at a series of free events across the Humber region from Tuesday 6 November.

The launch events will give small business leaders the opportunity to learn from success stories such as Jo Smedley, the best-selling Grimsby author who was recently appointed the Humber LEP’s Small Business Champion.

The Humber Business Growth Hub is a Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) initiative to support businesses in the region. The three schemes are being delivered by Hull City Council in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, North Lincolnshire Council and e-factor Group Ltd for the Business Growth Programme.

Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP, said: “Our Business Growth Hub has already helped hundreds of businesses to take their next steps. This significant expansion of support will help many more businesses across the Humber to realise their potential. I am delighted that we have been able to work together to secure this investment and look forward to seeing the benefits in our economy.”

Councillor Daren Hale, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for economic investment, said: “The Humber region is a hotbed of entrepreneurialism and projects such as this can really help SMEs to grow their businesses through both funding, advice and inspiration, which can benefit the entire region.”

Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for business at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Our region has a great community of independent local businesses and start-ups. This funding will go a long way towards further supporting this community and fostering economic growth and the emergence of even more businesses in the area. In particular, the advice, guidance and sharing of experiences can really boost businesses, giving them the confidence to push forward with their ideas.”

Councillor Stephen Parnaby, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the East Riding economy and the projects provided through the Humber Business Growth Hub are hugely beneficial in helping businesses to grow and thrive. By securing this funding, the council and its partners can provide advice and support to entrepreneurs, which will in turn boost the economy of both the East Riding and the wider Humber region and help to create new jobs and industry.”

The first of the projects is the Finance For Growth Scheme, which will see SMEs undertaking growth projects, being offered guidance on key issues preventing access to finance, such as business planning, regulatory and legal issues, risk assessments and tailored financial management systems.

The ICT For Growth Scheme will offer support for businesses with investment projects focused on ICT (information and communications technology) to increase productivity, skills and employment by utilising ICT more effectively.

And the Business Growth Scheme will offer SMEs encouragement to grow through support in business planning, HR and recruitment, supply chain and procurement, which will deliver workshops by industry experts as well as leadership programmes and one-to-one advice.
All three projects have received funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

The launch events will take place across the Humber region in Hull, Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Driffield, and South Cave. Register a place at www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/humber-business-growth-hub-17967626089.

Notes for editors

The projects are receiving up to £6,090,501 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

Finance For Growth Scheme

This scheme is aimed at priority growth sectors of the Humber economy and will support small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in those, as well as aligned, sectors to grow and enhance their growth potential through targeted investment/financial advice and support. The overall aim of the scheme is to provide guidance and advice to businesses, addressing the key issues preventing SMEs accessing finance such as business planning, access to fit-for-purpose financial information, regulatory and legal issues, risk assessments and tailored financial management systems. Grants may be used to support activities relating to the legal, operational and business planning aspects of securing finance and investment as well as the development and implementation of accompanying systems and processes. Grant support and advice will also be used to address some of the cultural and structural issues associated with becoming investment ready and investment worthy. Additionally the programme will provide a series of workshops, masterclasses and briefing programmes (e.g. employment law, how to bid for public sector contracts) to raise financial awareness and will signpost beneficiaries to other appropriate sources of help and support both financial and non-financial.

ICT For Growth Scheme

This scheme has been designed to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) with ICT focused investment projects which will increase productivity, skills and employment. The overall aim of the scheme is to provide ICT specific advice and voucher support to enable SMEs to create and/or adopt new products and processes, improve productivity and business resilience by utilising ICT more effectively to support business growth. Potential projects to be supported under the voucher scheme include the installation of enhanced cyber security systems, digital marketing and e-commerce systems, big data analytics, the acquisition of upgraded ICT hardware and software and upgraded connectivity. The scheme will not, however, simply replace outdated hardware/software where this is not associated with accompanying company growth plans/objectives. The scheme will support the uptake of digital technologies, build business confidence in the use of such technologies and extend understanding of how digital technologies can be employed to solve business problems and deliver increased business competitiveness. Additionally the project will provide a comprehensive programme of workshops, masterclasses and briefing sessions (e.g. cloud-based computing, cyber security and resilience to threat). These will showcase the latest developments in digital and ICT technologies as well as demonstrate the latest ICT solutions. There will also be a sector based approach to the workshop programme which will bring together companies from a particular sector to identify what their current issues and challenges are and how might they utilise ICT to resolve these issues.

Business Growth Scheme

This is a comprehensive programme of interventions aimed at enabling SMEs in the Humber to grow and become more productive. It will encourage and support businesses to grow and develop by delivering support in areas such as business planning, HR and recruitment, and supply chain & procurement. Some of the activities to be delivered will include workshops/masterclasses by industry experts, leadership programmes, and one-to-one advice.