Wave 2 Growth Hubs

Lancaster University Management School is taking a leading role in a £32m government programme to boost economic growth in some of England's fastest growing cities.

Using the Management's School's expertise in supporting SMEs and its outstanding reputation for delivering complex funding programmes, the University is working in partnership with government departments and the Cabinet Office’s Cities Policy Unit on an exciting programme of support to 16 cities across the UK.

The programme, which is supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund, is designed to help cities to support local businesses and provide co-ordinated access to national and local business support packages.

The first wave of city deals focused on the eight largest cities outside of London. Wave 2 involves 16 cities: some of the largest cities outside of London and their wider areas, and the cities that experienced the highest population growth between 2001 and 2010.

Cities that will receive funding from the programme include Coventry, Bournemouth, Brighton and Hove, Reading, Hull and Stoke. The city deals for each area are being negotiated throughout 2014.

Wave 2 Growth Hubs

The Wave 2 Growth Hubs (W2GH) programme will support cities by creating a growth hub for their area, designed to promote economic prosperity and to work with local businesses, providing them with access to a national network of resources. The hubs will serve as a single point of reference for SMEs

Prior to the W2GH programme, there were only four regional growth hubs in the UK, but Lancaster University is leading efforts to raise that figure to 19 by overseeing the creation of an additional 15 hubs in cities such as Hull, Bournemouth, Stoke, Reading and Milton Keynes.

Professor Ellie Hamilton, Associate Dean for Enterprise at LUMS and one of the founder members of the School’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (IEED), is leading the programme. The W2GH Programme Manager at LUMS is Dr Amy Gibbons, also based in IEED, and key support is provided also by the University’s knowledge exchange staff in Research and Enterprise Services.

Professor Hamilton said: “We have demonstrated our credentials over a number of years and through different programmes, which have had outstanding impact for business. We draw on our research understanding to help not only businesses, but also those that support business to implement what we know works," she said.

“Our knowledge-exchange experts will be drawing on our extensive experience to provide independent external advice and guidance, which is deep-rooted in research, to ensure the proposals supported by the Regional Growth Fund have the best chance of providing true economic benefits for all of the cities.”

Networking and events

The University is establishing a peer-networking programme for cities, devised by staff from IEED. This will enable cities to share their experiences and problems with others in similar positions, and allow them to take a step back from their day-to-day operations to dedicate time to thinking strategically. A range of other events will also be organised as part of the programme.

For further information:

  • See the government website for further information on City Deals, Wave 2

  • For more information on the connected initiatives at LUMS, including forthcoming events, please contact Dr Amy Gibbons, W2GH Programme Manager, on a.gibbons1@lancaster.ac.uk or tel +44 (0)1524 510699.