European local governments hear about Wave 2 Growth Hubs

Picture from the European Congress of Local Governments

12 May 2015

Local government representatives from across Europe have been learning about the Wave 2 Growth Hub programme, in which LUMS is taking a leading role. 

More than 1,000 delegates met in Krakow, Poland, last week for The European Congress of Local Governments, to discuss what a new regional future for Europe might look like.

Wave 2 Growth Hub Programme Manager Dr Amy Gibbons gave a talk about the English model of local Growth Hubs, which were set up last year. 

In 2013 the University was awarded £32m by the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund to allocate out to city regions in England to bring online some of the first 15 business support institutions known as "Growth Hubs". These include Hull and the Humber, Milton Keynes, Oxford and Central Oxfordshire and Tees Valley. 

The presentation focused on how the project has seen local and regional stakeholders, including universities, come together through the Growth Hubs, enabling businesses to benefit from innovative and easy to access support. 

Dr Gibbons told the audience how, according to draft figures, the 15 Wave 2 Growth Hubs have collectively issued more than 1,000 contracts, engaged with around 46,000 SMEs and created roughly 1,300 new jobs. 

In addition, the Hubs have distributed more than £17.8m in supporting SMEs.

Dr Gibbons said: “Several of the challenges discussed by the speakers struck chords with those challenges faced by the Growth Hubs during their set up and continued delivery.

"During the course of the Congress we discussed national issues such as decentralisation v. centralisation and sustainability of government services through to regional issues including how to make sure all voices are heard in a multi-governance environment and targeting funding and support to build regional culture and identity.

"The whole experience was incredibly insightful and I’m so pleased I had the opportunity to share this programme with so many distinguished delegates from across Europe.”