Staff recruited for launch of Norfolk and Suffolk Growth Hub

PUBLISHED: 12:51 14 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:51 14 March 2014

Andy Wood . Photo: Bill Smith

Andy Wood . Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

The launch of a pioneering service to help the region’s businesses find the right type of support has moved an important step closer.

Recruitment has begun for seven staff who will put the Norfolk and Suffolk Growth Hub into action by early summer.

The initiative, funded by £800,000 of Government Regional Growth Fund cash, will aim to take the hassle out of finding all kinds of support from funding and planning advice to information on exporting and starting up a business.

The staff being recruited include a growth hub manager, business growth advisors, a business support officer and a communications and events officer.

Chris Starkie, managing-director of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is steering the scheme in partnership with Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are fortunate to have a wide range of private and public sector suppliers of support but there is currently nowhere to turn if you are not sure what you want.

“The growth hub will not provide business support itself, it will provide access to support for people who are unclear what is out there.”

He said their job would be to “point businesses in the right direction for the right sort of support”.

“We hope it will encourage more businesses to take up support who might at the moment be put off by the complex landscape,” he said.

He said searching for possible funding opportunities could be time-consuming and difficult because of the sheer range of options but hub advisors would be able to “eliminate the need for Googling and complex form filling”.

It was envisaged that hub staff would spend a lot of time travelling around Norfolk and Suffolk to the premises of businesses seeking help.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce will be responsible for managing the growth hub with delivery organisations in the project including Norfolk Chamber, enterprise agencies NWES and MENTA, Finance East, University of East Anglia, University Campus Suffolk and Norwich University for the Arts.

LEP chairman Andy Wood said: “We know that business support is complex.

“Our aim is to break down the barriers caused by this uncertainty and guide businesses to help and support to enable them grow to their full potential.”

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  • Growth hub? This is nothing more than taking money from the public purse and putting it in the hands of private business, isn't it what these people are about.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Where is the advert for the vacancies then ?. No doubt they have already filled them with their cronies and relatives, and just going through the motions. Come on EDP. Ask Wood where they are being advertised.

    Report this comment


    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • V the adverts are in the recruitment section of the LEP website - you can find that in the find out about us section. It is also on the Suffolk Chamber website.

    Report this comment

    Chris Starkie

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

  • Someone give V a job. Please. perhaps then we won't have to put up with so much of his whining, misplaced and spiteful drivel.

    Report this comment

    Tom Jeffries

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • The vacancies were advertised in the EDP and EADT this week. You can also find out more on the Suffolk Chamber website and the New Anglia LEP website

    Report this comment

    Chris Starkie

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • NWES and Kevin Horne plus the Chamber have been effective in rolling out this type of business support service for years in Norfolk and Suffolk. £800,000 isn't a great deal of money given all the published partners. I just wonder what the benefits are and how crucial the links with academic partners are to the success of this initiative?

    Report this comment


    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Chris. Perhaps you can let me know where to go on the LEP website. I have been all over it including the search and there is nothing.

    Report this comment


    Friday, March 14, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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