Launch of new Velocity Growth Hub for Bedfordshire Businesses

3 April 2014

Cardington Hangar No. 1 provides backdrop to launch of new Velocity Growth Hub for Bedfordshire Businesses

Businesses in Bedfordshire are celebrating the launch of the all-new Velocity Growth Hub, a free business support initiative unveiled at Cardington Hangar No. 1 on Friday 28th March.

Velocity, a business support initiative for companies across the South East Midlands, has been made possible thanks to grants worth £1.75 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund through Lancaster University and South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP).

The growth hub has been set up to make it easier for businesses to maximise their growth potential. As well as an online portal at and telephone helpdesk, there will be one-to-one mentoring and support from two locally-based Business Advisers as well as grants worth up to £3,000.

Clive Haywood and Richard Cooper are the Velocity Growth Hub Business Advisers for Bedfordshire. Highly experienced, having occupied senior roles in management, customer relations and business development, Clive and Richard will support businesses across the county to help them achieve their growth plans.

Clive Haywood said: “If you run a business and want to grow it can be very difficult to know where to go for information or even what support is available to you. Velocity Growth Hub aims to make it easier for businesses to access help and advice by bringing together information, mentoring and grant funding in one place.

“We are actively looking for business owners in Bedfordshire who want to take their business to the next level, whether that’s by exporting, hiring new staff or exploring new markets, and we will work with them on a one-to-one basis to set out realistic and measurable growth plans and help turn these plans into a reality.”

Richard Cooper, also a Business Adviser for Velocity, said: “When you work in your business, it can be a real challenge to find the time or resources to work on your business. This is where we can help as Velocity Growth Hub Business Advisers. We can work with businesses, giving advice and knowledge, so that real growth and success can be achieved.

“We can also advise businesses on access to grants and providing financial support towards business development activities.”

Daniel Mouawad, Chief Executive of SEMLEP, which will manage the roll-out of Velocity Growth Hub, said: “This is a significant opportunity for businesses in Bedfordshire. The funding we have received from Lancaster University has enabled us to develop a completely free business support programme and we hope as many businesses as possible contact us to see how we could help them.

“One of the main objectives of Velocity Growth Hub is to increase employment opportunities and our aim is to create and protect at least 300 jobs across the South East Midlands with some of these being in Bedfordshire itself.”

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Small businesses are the cornerstone upon which our long term economic plan is built. In order for them to thrive they need the support to start up and scale up.

“The launch of the all new Growth Hub in Bedfordshire is a positive step to providing the right environment for ambitious small businesses to grow and access the help they need.”

Velocity Growth Hub has been designed to attract over £2million of private sector investment and to engage with around 15,000 businesses by June 2015.

For more information on Velocity Growth Hub and to make an appointment with a Business Adviser, go to or call 0300 01234 35.