£6 million boost for SMEs in the Humber region

Growing businesses in the Humber will be able to access assistance offered as part of more than £6 million of European funding as three unique projects are launched in November.

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region could benefit from the three schemes offering one-to-one support, workshops / masterclasses and grants after the Humber Business Growth Hub was awarded the funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The projects will be launched at a series of free events across the Humber region from Tuesday 6 November.

The launch events will give small business leaders the opportunity to learn from success stories such as Jo Smedley, the best-selling Grimsby author who was recently appointed the Humber LEP’s Small Business Champion.

The Humber Business Growth Hub is a Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) initiative to support businesses in the region. The three schemes are being delivered by Hull City Council in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, North Lincolnshire Council and e-factor Group Ltd for the Business Growth Programme.

Councillor Daren Hale, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for economic investment, said: “The Humber region is a hotbed of entrepreneurialism and projects such as this can really help SMEs to grow their businesses through both funding, advice and inspiration, which can benefit the entire region.”

Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for business at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Our region has a great community of independent local businesses and start-ups. This funding will go a long way towards further supporting this community and fostering economic growth and the emergence of even more businesses in the area. In particular, the advice, guidance and sharing of experiences can really boost businesses, giving them the confidence to push forward with their ideas.”

Councillor Stephen Parnaby, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the East Riding economy and the projects provided through the Humber Business Growth Hub are hugely beneficial in helping businesses to grow and thrive. By securing this funding, the council and its partners can provide advice and support to entrepreneurs, which will in turn boost the economy of both the East Riding and the wider Humber region and help to create new jobs and industry.”

The first of the projects is the Finance For Growth Scheme, which will see SMEs undertaking growth projects, being offered guidance on key issues preventing access to finance, such as business planning, regulatory and legal issues, risk assessments and tailored financial management systems.

The ICT For Growth Scheme will offer support for businesses with investment projects focused on ICT (information and communications technology) to increase productivity, skills and employment by utilising ICT more effectively.

And the Business Growth Scheme will offer SMEs encouragement to grow through support in business planning, HR and recruitment, supply chain and procurement, which will deliver workshops by industry experts as well as leadership programmes and one-to-one advice.

All three projects have received funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP, said: “Our Business Growth Hub has already helped hundreds of businesses to take their next steps. This significant expansion of support will help many more businesses across the Humber to realise their potential. I am delighted that we have been able to work together to secure this investment and look forward to seeing the benefits in our economy.”

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

The launch events will take place across the Humber region in Hull, Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Driffield, and South Cave. Register a place at www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/humber-business-growth-hub-17967626089.