University’s support of economic growth in regions wins award

Ellie Hamilton

19 August 2015

Lancaster University’s work on a programme that has helped to support thousands of businesses and the economy has been recognised by the internationally-acclaimed Academy of Management.

Lancaster University Management School’s Wave 2 Growth Hub Programme (W2GH) has been awarded the 2015 ‘Academy of Management Practice Theme Committee Research Centre Runner Up Impact Award’. Lancaster’s Professor Ellie Hamilton and Dr Ricardo Zozimo collected the award at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Vancouver.

The Lancaster W2GH Programme is accelerating the availability of responsive and accessible business support across England and creating powerful networks of locally-based organisations that are learning together about what works best for business growth and job creation.

The programme is on track to create more than 4,000 jobs by 2017, with 1,300 new jobs already created in the supported regions. To date 48,000 SMEs have engaged with regional Growth Hubs – one stop shops of business support - and more than £17.8m has been invested in supporting SMEs, generating more than £33m of investment by the private sector.

The Academy of Management judges called the contribution and achievements of the University "outstanding" and took the unusual step of awarding Lancaster a Runner Up award. 

Professor Ellie Hamilton, Director of the Wave 2 Growth Hub Programme at Lancaster University, said: “We are delighted that Lancaster has received this prestigious award in recognition of the significant impact on regional economies working in partnership with the UK government. It has been an honour for the University to play such a pivotal role in agile implementation of policy supported by, and further developing, world class research.”

Programme Manager for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub James Hinton, who supported the University’s application, said: “I found the Growth Hub network which LUMS established to be immensely helpful, allowing practitioners to exchange ideas, challenge assumptions, and remain inspired. I found the practicalities of the programme, such as reporting processes, to be exceptionally efficient and pragmatic.”

The Academy of Management Award is just one of many awards recognising Lancaster’s work with businesses. In June this year Lancaster was recognised by winning the Educate North Commercial Engagement Award. In 2014, the University also received the Small Business Charter Gold award – one of only three nationally – in recognition of the role it has played in supporting enterprise. Its work with SMEs was also recognised by Sir Andrew Witty within his Government-commissioned report ‘Encouraging a British Invention Revolution’, which identified Lancaster as a top ten UK university on volume of interactions with SMEs.