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Growth Hubs: the road ahead

ware 2 Growth Hub delegates

30 June 2015

Nearly 100 delegates from the extended Wave 2 Growth Hubs programme attended a Lancaster University-led workshop at Congress Centre in London in early June.

Professor Ellie Hamilton introduced the day and welcomed 33 out of the 40 Growth Hubs, including all 15 of the Wave 2 Hubs, to discuss the outstanding achievements that the network has brought about in just over 18 months. The network heard that the work they have been doing in their regions has already created 1,300 new jobs in England and the W2GH programme will have created over 4,000 new jobs by 2017.

All participants received an award from Lancaster University to celebrate their achievements on this ground-breaking programme. Phil Glover, Programme Manager at Hull and Humber Growth Hub, said “The support from Lancaster staff has been excellent, for them it has never been too much trouble to help me with the challenge of developing and running a valued business support asset in the Humber.”

Nigel Tipple from Oxfordshire Innovation Support for Business and Linda Edworthy from Tees Valley Unlimited presented their models and ongoing strategies from their areas to share good practice.

Mark Sayers from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, Sarah Longman from Oxfordshire LEP, Adele Cope from Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, Kevin Richardson from HEFCE and Jason Middleton from New Anglia Growth Hub joined Ellie Hamilton on a panel to discuss how stakeholders and partnership working has been so crucial for the Wave 2 Growth Hubs journey.

Professor Hamilton said: “This event was a real opportunity to reflect back on all the accomplishments of the Wave 2 Growth Hub network in such a short period of time. The programme has been very unusual in terms of the role taken by Lancaster and has been viewed in BIS, the Cabinet Office and DCLG as being highly effective. We heard throughout the day how 'no one size fits all' when it comes to regional business support. One of the most pleasing aspects of the programme has therefore been bringing the Wave 2 Growth Hubs, other Growth Hubs, LEPs, Chambers of Commerce, HEIs and other stakeholders together to share best practice and form a learning community.”

Keep an eye out for the upcoming W2GH Programme Report on ‘Growth Hubs: The Journey so Far’. The report will provide detail on delivery and set-up of the Growth Hubs and the Wave 2 network’s collective achievements. This report is targeted towards, and will be of interest to, those working on regional development and business engagement programmes, SMEs, academics and policymakers in the UK and internationally.

View the Wave 2 Growth Hub Programme web pages, or contact Professor Ellie Hamilton, W2GH Programme Director e.hamilton@lancaster.ac.uk