Lord Heseltine to visit Lancaster for growth hub programme showcase

Lancaster University Management School

06 November 2014

Former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine will speak on the importance of local growth hubs at a special showcase event at Lancaster University Management School.

Lord Heseltine will visit the University in December to discuss local growth and the Wave 2 Growth Hub Programme (W2GH), led by Lancaster. More than 25,000 businesses across England have already benefited since the creation of 15 new local Growth Hubs, through Lancaster University’s £32m Regional Growth Fund programme.

Lord Heseltine is Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel for the Regional Growth Fund – providing special advice to Ministers – and is supporting negotiations for Local Growth Deals.

In his 2012 report No Stone Unturned, Lord Heseltine called for action to devolve power and funds from Whitehall to regions to promote economic growth.

This Showcase will demonstrate how the Lancaster University programme has accelerated the development of Growth Hubs across England.

Lord Heseltine said: “By empowering the right people and institutions and providing funding to support businesses, it is possible to enhance prospects and economic growth within local areas. Growth Hubs are a vital part of the Government’s plans to make it easier for businesses to start and grow by ensuring business support is simpler, more joined up and easier to access.”

Growth Hubs bring together public and private-sector partners to promote, co-ordinate and deliver business support. Hubs are working with partners to simplify the local business support offer by integrating national and local business support, reducing duplication and ensuring that the overall offer is simple and easy to understand. The hubs are creating jobs and driving regional economic prosperity.

Growth Hubs provide direct support to businesses and access to investment to help them grow. This allows the businesses to enter new markets, to develop new products and find innovative solutions to stimulate growth and boost the UK economy.

Professor Ellie Hamilton, W2GH Programme Director at Lancaster University, said: “This was a new initiative for the University, acting as an anchor institution to establish Growth Hubs across 15 different geographic regions. Fostering a network where Growth Hubs can share their experience, knowledge and best practice has been one of our most valued contributions”.