3 June 2015
New figures have revealed the growth hub covering the South East Midlands is one of the best performing in the country, smashing tough Government targets by 40 per cent in its first year.
Velocity, the business support service delivered by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, has now engaged with more than 16,000 businesses across Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury Vale and Cherwell since it was formed last year.
A total of 15 ‘Wave 2’ growth hubs were put in place across the country by the coalition government and Velocity is responsible for almost 11 per cent of all business engagements recorded nationally, well above the average.
Velocity has far exceeded the targets set out by Government last year with a full month to spare, awarding more than £1million to companies across the South East Midlands, helping to create 166 jobs and safeguard 347 others with hundreds more jobs due to be realised as more projects come to fruition in the months ahead.
The service has also supported a total of 1,276 customers, 186 of whom have been awarded grants and 379 that have attended free business workshops.
The grants have been used to help fund a wide variety of projects, from a new greyhound track at Towcester Racecourse and a cider distillery in Milton Keynes to an augmented reality games campaign in Luton and a remote-controlled ‘drone’ in Stony Stratford.
The funding was available to small and medium sized businesses across the South East Midlands who were looking for help with funding to help them grow, with the aim of creating jobs and giving companies the chance to expand.
Velocity chief executive Daniel Mouawad said: “It’s vital that ambitious businesses have access to the funds they need to help them grow. The Velocity grants have done exactly that, helping to stimulate growth and create new jobs.
“We are now starting to see the impact these grants are having, with companies able to expand and put into practise projects that perhaps wouldn’t have been able to get off the ground without this funding.”
The current round of funding has now come to an end, but plans are in place to bring in a new grants scheme in 2016.
Meanwhile, Velocity is running a series of ‘Business Bootcamps’ this summer, aimed at start-ups and companies that have been trading for less than 18 months. The bootcamps will give businesses all the skills they need to get established and grow.
To find out more about this summer’s bootcamps, call 0300 01234 35Back