GFirst LEP announces Stroud Growth Hub partner

Growth Hub Stroud college

South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS) has been confirmed as partner to manage the forthcoming Stroud Growth Hub, to be housed at SGS Stroud Campus facility.

Using funding from the £101.7 million allocated from Government in the Gloucestershire Growth Deal, GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership is continuing to bolster its network of Growth Hubs across the county, enabling businesses to access enhanced services from locations in each of the county’s districts.

Ensuring that location isn’t a barrier for businesses to get the support they need, the county’s Growth Hub Network offers a mix of resource centres, delivered with a range of partners in strategic locations across the county. In return for capital investment, partners work with the Core Growth Hub, based at the University of Gloucestershire’s Oxstalls Campus in Gloucester, to deliver a Growth Hub service to businesses in their locality.

The Growth Hub’s mission is to make free business support accessible for every Gloucestershire business. The first one opened in Gloucester in 2014, In 2018, it opened new centres in Cirencester, Tewkesbury and at 31 Gloucestershire County Council library sites right across the county. Later this year, a Forest of Dean Growth Hub will open and 2020 will see the Stroud and Cheltenham Growth Hubs come on board.

The Stroud Growth Hub will deliver generic, impartial, fully funded business services to any Gloucestershire business. It will offer co-working facilities, networking opportunities and business support infrastructure required to encourage growth, as well as creating bespoke incubator units for early stage businesses, nurturing the development of small businesses into larger businesses.

Sarah Danson, Director of Strategic Growth at GFirst LEP, said: “I am delighted to be announcing SGS as an official partner in the Gloucestershire Growth Hub Network.  The expanding network ensures businesses have greater opportunities to access the best type of tailored support for their needs. Our goal is to help Gloucestershire’s businesses tap into the best solutions available in the county.”

Kevin Hamblin, Group Chief Executive Officer & Executive Principal, added: “The Hub will create opportunities for businesses to work together for greater overall benefit and it will seed and de-risk new business ventures.

Sara-Jane Watkins – College Principal: said “SGS College is delighted to be working with Gfirst Local Enterprise Partnership to bring the Growth Hub network to our Stroud Campus.

“The College already has extremely strong links with local employers and working with the wider business community has always been a strategic priority of SGS. The creation of the Growth Hub will enable the enhancement of support for businesses in the Stroud Valleys from large enterprises to new start up’s.

“We expect to see many of our students either starting their own businesses or going on to work with the organisations that the Growth Hub will support. We hope to see particularly strong engagement with the creative, digital and low carbon sectors.”