The Growth Hub celebrates 10 years of helping local businesses to thrive

With a track record of helping thousands of businesses achieve growth through expert advice, skills development and so much more, The Growth Hub Gloucestershire is celebrating the resounding success of its flagship hub in Gloucester, 10 years on from its launch.

By Jake Chown  |  Published
The Growth Hub Gloucester, based at the University of Gloucestershire's Oxstalls campus, has welcomed more than 30,000 people through its doors since its foundation in 2014.

The Growth Hub Gloucestershire is highlighting the many achievements of its founder hub in Gloucester over the past decade as it marks its 10th anniversary in 2024.

Based at the University of Gloucestershire's Oxstalls campus, the first hub in the county-wide business support network has been instrumental in helping countless local businesses achieve success, having welcomed more than 30,000 people through its doors since its inception in 2014.

The team has aided business growth in Gloucester and the wider county by providing fully-funded, tailored advice and support, as well as delivering more than 700 training events for local businesses — upskilling owners and their teams in areas from business strategy and finance to social media and HR.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the hub delivered almost £500,000 in support grants to help a range of businesses weather the storm. Over 500 jobs were safeguarded as a result of its Covid-19 Recovery Support project, around 55 per cent of which were in the visitor economy.

In partnership with the University of Gloucestershire, the Gloucester hub has provided incubator office space for over 20 businesses in the last 10 years, giving them quick and easy access to in-house experts, events and an environment in which to build and grow their business.

The team supported partner hubs in Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cheltenham and the Forest of Dean to join the county network between 2018 and 2021; and has welcomed visitors from across the world to learn about how businesses are supported by the Gloucester hub and the network as a whole, including recent delegations from Nigeria (pictured below), Georgia, China and Indonesia.

It has pioneered innovative free leadership training in the county, including a highly successful Director Strategy, Scale-Up, and Evolve series, as well as playing a key role in the government-led Better Business for All programme; a partnership between businesses and regulators promoting business growth and compliance.

In 2018, the excellent work of the hub team was recognised on a national scale with a prestigious THELMA (Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award) for outstanding employer engagement strategy.

On the hub's successes over its lifespan, Alex Cottrell, The Growth Hub Gloucester Manager, said: 'As part of The Growth Hub Gloucestershire team since 2017 it has been an absolute privilege to watch The Growth Hub network develop.

'The vision set by GFirst LEP with a clear commitment to delivering accessible business support for the whole county was unique in its approach and to this day remains one of a kind in the country.

'The teams of business support professionals across the network have shown relentless energy and commitment to supporting businesses of all sizes and stage of development, during one of the most turbulent economic periods in recent history, and this was incredible to witness.

'The Growth Hub is an absolute jewel in our county crown that has impacted literally thousands of businesses and individuals, and I couldn’t be more proud to be able to count myself as part of this exceptional team.'

Dev Chakraborty, head of the new Growth & Enterprise team at Gloucestershire County Council with responsibility for The Growth Hub network, commented: 'The Growth Hub network continues to go from strength to strength and we have many exciting developments in the pipeline.

'We remain committed to providing expert business support services across the county and encourage local businesses — of all shapes and sizes — to reach out to our dedicated, expert teams.'

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