News

22 Feb 2017

Growth Hub Network takes another step forward

GFirst LEP is taking another step forward in its journey to create a network of Growth Hubs across the county, as it announces two key suppliers that will help to create an expansive digital infrastructure.

Sarah Danson, Growth Hub Network Manager at GFirst LEP, said: “A fundamental part of the Growth Hub Network is the connectivity between Hubs and the procurement of these services are an important step.

With locations across the county, it’s hugely important that our network of Growth Hubs can access sophisticated systems that will enable them to find the right business support solutions for their clients. Businesses will be able to visit any Growth Hub and receive a consistent service that meets their needs.

It’s equally important that the LEP are able to report back to Government on the metrics we’re capturing, helping us to continually improve the services available.”

Cheltenham-based Salpo Technologies have been chosen to supply their cloud-based CRM system to the Growth Hub, due to its engaging interface and flexibility for customisation to fit with the Growth Hub's specific requirements. The extensible platform allows for simple integrations with other tools and third-party data sources, such as Companies House, which when combined, will deliver a seamless and intuitive experience for users. The Growth Hub will start using the Salpo CRM system in Spring 2017, with new features being added soon after, allowing Growth Hub Navigators and Guides to provide an engaging and truly bespoke service to businesses in Gloucestershire looking for business support.

Andrew Hill, Commercial Director at Salpo said: "Salpo are thrilled to have been chosen to work with GFirst LEP on the Digital Infrastructure Project for the Growth Hub. As a local, Cheltenham based business, this project gives us a real opportunity to showcase our software and help with the expansion of an important Gloucestershire business asset."

Aerian have been selected to design and build a new Growth Hub website, which will extend the Growth Hub services online. The new website will allow users to create a Growth Hub account which will empower them to access business support articles and tools, connect with the Growth Hub business support community, and create tailored growth plans, customised to their unique circumstances. The new website will be launched at the end of March with plans for new features to be added throughout the year.

Geoff Wells, Chief Operating Officer at Aerian, commented: "We’re thrilled to be working with GFirst LEP to bring to life their digital vision for The Growth Hub. The website will be a vital resource for businesses across the region, providing unique access to tailored business support and services to help businesses grow. We’re taking a highly user-centred approach - working with business users to understand their needs and priorities and using that to shape the user experience and design to create a valued business tool."

Using funding from £77.5 million allocated from Government in the Gloucestershire Growth Deal, GFirst LEP is creating a network of Growth Hubs across the county, enabling businesses to access enhanced services from a range of locations.

The Growth Hub Network forms an integral part of the growth plans with an investment of £5 million. Ensuring that location isn’t a barrier for businesses to get the support they need, the Growth Hub Network will offer a mix of resource centres, delivered with a range of partners in strategic locations across the county. In return for capital investment, partners will work with the core Growth Hub to deliver a Growth Hub service to businesses in their locality.

Partners confirmed to work alongside the existing Growth Hub at the University of Gloucestershire include Tewkesbury Borough Council, Gloucestershire County Libraries and the Royal Agricultural University.