Brighton & Hove City Council in partnership with 7 other private and public sector providers has successfully bid for nearly £1.8 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to support local businesses.
The funds will be invested through the Wave 2 Growth Hub programme and matched to private sector business support initiatives over the next two years.
INNOVATIVE: The programme is designed to boost economic growth in Wave 2 City Deal areas by introducing a new approach to coordinating business support and providing a resource to introduce bespoke business, innovation and trade support schemes.
Brighton & Hove city council Leader Jason Kitcat said; “This is very good news. This money is hard fought for and will be used to support and nurture businesses in the city and throughout the region by providing intelligent support which will enable them to expand, providing more jobs and bolstering the regional economy.”
Managing Director of Wired Sussex Phil Jones said; "The success of this bid is really down to the organisations that collaborated so effectively on putting it together. The funding is fantastically opportune and will provide a range of support services to businesses in our sector, including Wired Sussex's highly respected Intern Placement Programme"
Chris Baker Director Economic and Social Engagement at the University of Brighton said; “The University of Brighton is pleased to be part of this new programme that will assist us and our partners to support the growth of local business. It is vital that universities with their knowledge and expertise can reach out to support SME’s . It will help us to make the university even more accessible to business.“
Dr David Cooper, a Reader in Management and Economic Development at the University of Chichester, said: “We are thrilled to be able to support this project. The University has a successful track record of helping businesses through advice, consultancy and research, and this represents a real opportunity to provide new and growing firms with tailored packages of support.”
It includes a business grants programme providing much needed finance for businesses wishing to engage in Research & Development, breaking into new markets, buy plant & equipment and other areas of business investment.
Brighton & Hove City Council is the lead partner, working with the University of Sussex, University of Brighton, University of Chichester, Sussex Innovation Centre, Wired Sussex, Lewes District Council and Coast to Capital LEP.
The Government has decided the allocation of the Regional Growth Funding will be through Lancaster University. As well as helping to decide which cities’ proposals received funding, Lancaster University academics will also be providing on-going support and evaluation of the cities.
Lancaster, which was named as a top-ten university for SME engagement by the recent review by Sir Andrew Witty, was brought in because of its experience and expertise in working with business, local authorities, as well as Local Enterprise Partnerships and growth hubs.
Lancaster has worked with more than 5,000 SMEs since 1999. It has also helped the creation of more than 250 new business and more than 4,000 new jobs.