Supporting manufacturing businesses through the Growth Hub Network

Delegates sat around tables listening to three main speakers.

22 October 2014

50 delegates from the Wave 2 Growth Hubs programme attended a Lancaster University-led workshop at Coventry Chambers of Commerce recently.

Co-hosted with Black Country and Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hubs, this was the first thematic workshop held on the programme, aimed at sharing knowledge about local business support in the manufacturing industry.

Dr Amy Gibbons, Wave 2 Growth Hubs Programme Manager, said: “Now that the hubs have launched and they have started building their regional networks, we are working to help them in providing business support to their key areas. The strategic identification of these areas, by each hub, was and continues to be an on-going process of smart specialisation locally, to target areas that have the potential for economic growth.”

One of the main discussions during the workshop was around the importance of skills. It was interesting to hear from SMEs for example, who were using funding received from their local growth hubs to take on apprentices. Dr Cathy Garner said:

“Apprenticeships with manufacturing companies are hugely valued and competitive, as we learned from a young man from Jaguar Land Rover on the train home that day. He told us how 6,700 people had applied for around 170 places on their apprenticeships scheme. What we need to work on is how we can enable even more of the SMEs in the manufacturing supply chain to access apprenticeships and support the development of young talent for UK modern manufacture.”

View the RGF Wave 2 Growth Hub Programme web pages, or contact Dr Amy Gibbons, W2GH Programme Manager at