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University holds inaugural workshop for Wave 2 Growth Hub programme

Delegates at the workshop listening to a presentation

04 February 2014

More than 60 delegates attended a kick-off workshop for the £32m Wave 2 Growth Hub programme (W2GH) in London.

The workshop, held on Thursday 30 January, brought together representatives from the 15 growth hubs participating in the programme and their delivery partners.

The W2GH Programme, funded by the Regional Growth Fund, will support cities in creating a growth hub for their area to promote economic growth and work with local businesses, providing them with access to a national network of resources.

The workshop was the first in a new programme of events and knowledge-sharing initiatives, and was organised by Lancaster University’s Knowledge Exchange and Research group, in conjunction with programme partners from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office’s Cities Policy Unit.

Lancaster University plays two distinct and innovative roles in the programme – as programme managers and as expert support to programme development. A first for universities in the UK, this programme demonstrates the dynamic role that universities, and especially their business schools, can play in the UK’s growth agenda.

Peer networking and learning

The focus of the workshop was to enable the cities to voice the challenges they will be facing as they implement their delivery plans and to share ideas.

Dr Ellie Hamilton from LUMS, who is Director of the W2GH Programme at Lancaster University, said: “This kick-off workshop was dedicated to facilitating discussion between the cities, policy makers and the University. Throughout the day there were opportunities to share experiences and knowledge. We had good feedback from the delegates and we are looking forward to building a strong and effective network in the coming months.”

Inspirational speakers

Representatives from the cities within W2GH were joined on the day by guest speakers from two established growth hubs: Manchester and Cumbria. Both delivered inspirational talks based on their experiences and the lessons learnt, and offered a wealth of advice around business partnerships, social media and national versus regional delivery.

As well as interactive sessions focused on strategy and delivery, there were also speakers from the programme partners who offered advice on shared issues such as evaluation, communication and stakeholder analysis. 

For further information on the Regional Growth Fund’s W2GH programme, please see this page or contact Dr Amy Gibbons, RGF Programme Manager, a.gibbons1@lancaster.ac.uk