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Lancaster expertise to support economic growth in 16 UK cities

Lancaster University Management School

06 December 2013

Lancaster University Management School is taking a leading role in a £32m government programme to boost economic growth in cities across the country.

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

The programme, confirmed this week by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and 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.

Beneficiaries

Cities that will receive funding from the programme include Coventry, Bournemouth, Brighton and Hove, Reading, Hull and Stoke.

Nick Clegg said: “Small businesses are working hard to fuel our recovery and help us build a stronger economy.

“I am determined that we do all we can to help companies that have struggled to get the investment they need. Investment that means they can employ those extra people, take on that new order, and buy new equipment.

“Cities across England are being given a share of £32 million to help smaller companies to grow and create more jobs.”

Lancaster University, which was named as a top-ten university for SME engagement in the recent Witty Review, was successful in its bid to run this Regional Growth Fund programme due to the Management School’s long-standing reputation for innovative support to business, and also because of the University’s experience and expertise in managing European funding programmes across the UK.

IEED involvement

Dr Ellie Hamilton, Associate Dean and founder of the University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, will lead the programme.

“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.

“Lancaster’s involvement in the Regional Growth Fund for City Deals is a strong endorsement of our approach and expertise in supporting business and Local Enterprise Partnerships in producing demonstrable economic growth.”

The University intends to set up a peer-networking programme for cities devised by staff from IEED. The programme will enable cities to be able to share experiences and problems with others in similar positions, and also enable them to take a step back from their day-to-day operations to dedicate time to thinking strategically.

For more information about City Deals and a full list of the cities that will benefit under the new initiative, see City Deals Wave 2 on the gov.uk website.