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16,000 businesses helped by City Deal

17th February, 2015
The Peninsula City Deal Growth Hub Deal has now reached more than 16,000 businesses across the far south west.

Created through the Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal, the Peninsula City Deal Growth Hub was set up to make it simple for businesses to find the right support and advice. The service operates across Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Somerset.

The Growth Hub is coordinated by Plymouth University’s Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN) and Plymouth Chambers of Commerce who work closely with partner Chambers across the peninsula.

The Growth Hub, through its Business Engagement Service (BES), provides a telephone diagnostic and signposting service to advise businesses on the most appropriate support for their needs.

Businesses can also meet with export advisors through Plymouth Chambers of Commerce. The Digital Exchange is an online portal and forum where businesses can share advice find new clients and keep up to date with business news.

One of the most popular services companies access through the Chambers is the Digital Marketplace.

Delivered by Peninsula Enterprise, the Digital Marketplace ‘ecommerce’ workshops are run in partnership with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). As well as providing strategic advice to businesses on selling online in the UK and overseas, they also offer accredited training to digital marketing companies that create websites aimed to attract an international audience.

Nicola Evans, Head of International Trade for the South West said: “The Digital Marketplace has been a unique opportunity to invest in and work directly with the supply chain in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. The training has helped close skills gaps and ensure that, as a region, we have a strong digital offering.

“We are absolutely delighted with the results so far, with a number of new websites going live for local businesses wishing to increase their reach in overseas markets. There are specific design principles unique to different cultures that go far beyond just translating copy. Some countries pretty much only access the web through their mobiles, while others navigate from right to left and many use different social networks. These differences require technical experts to get right. The commitment and expertise cultivated by this programme will help support international success for businesses in the South West.”

One local company that has already benefitted from the Growth Hub is Plymouth’s dv8media. The company provides web and mobile digital design, ecommerce and online marketing services and products to a broad range of clients across the south west. It sent two employees on the course.

Adrian Saunders, Managing Director at dv8media said: “With eleven years in digital marketing we have plenty of in-house skills, but there are always new developments. Accredited training has given us an edge and enabled us to expand out portfolio and build new business.

“We’ve been introduced to some new and interesting clients and have been able to bring some fresh thinking and new opportunities to our existing clients. For them it’s all about return on investment and we’ve had some great feedback.”

Plymouth City Council Leader, Tudor Evans said: “Enabling companies like dv8media to reach new clients and expand their business is what the Growth Hub is here to do. Because it’s a signposting service, it can attract a wide number of partner providers who deliver a huge range of services.

“The fact that the Growth Hub has already reached 16,000 businesses across the peninsula shows that this is the right approach. Each of these businesses now know where to go to get the right advice to find the most appropriate support, at a time that suits them best.”

Businesses wanting to find out more about the Growth Hub should call GAIN on 0800 073 2020.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Growth Hub and the City Deal or can sign up for the newsletter on the City Deal website: www.plymouth.gov.uk/citydeal

ENDS