Serco’s business support service in the South West of England - Peninsula Enterprise - has been awarded a three-year contract by The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) to manage its new “Growth Hub” central business advice service.
The “Growth Hub” offers businesses in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay a single point of contact, completely free at the point of access, for advice and support on any issues relating to their operations and aspirations, from information on new funding opportunities through to where to go for tax advice or help with exports.
Peninsula Enterprise, part of Serco’s Citizen Services’ business, will provide all elements of this central service. Its team of business support advisers will respond to all questions received via telephone and the website, signposting to specialists and/or international, national or local services as required. They will also run face-to-face workshops and clinics at enterprise and innovation centres across the HotSW area.
This work involves working in close partnership with a range of public and private sector organisations such as local chambers of commerce, universities, FE colleges and providers that make up the business support landscape. Peninsula Enterprise already has strong relationships with many of these organisations in the South West as a result of its Superfast Business, Heart of the South West RGN (Rural Growth Network) Business Support and Get up to Speed contracts.
The Growth Hub aims to support more than 4,000 organisations of all sizes and sectors over the next three years. It is one of a range of initiatives to help local businesses to grow and, in turn, boost the wider, regional economy.
Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley, commented: “Peninsula Enterprise has extensive first-hand experience of working with the diverse range of businesses in the HotSW area, so I have every confidence in their ambitions to deliver a robust service that is accessible to all.”
Chris Redding, Chief Executive of Peninsula Enterprise, added: “We are delighted to be delivering the Growth Hub and look forward to working in partnership with business services across the Heart of the South West LEP area to help businesses receive the support they need to develop and flourish.”