Three hundred Gloucestershire business people attend Growth Hub launch party

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Written by:   | Posted 24-October-2014 11:56

Three hundred Gloucestershire business people attend Growth Hub launch party

More than 200 businesses have already sought support from a new centre aimed at helping the county’s 26,000-plus firms looking for growth – all less than a month after it opened.

The Growth Hub, an initiative run by the University of Gloucestershire and GFirst LEP, the organisation charged with driving the county’s economy, opened its doors at the start of October and staged its official launch party on Wednesday night.

An estimated 300-plus business people attended the launch party at The Growth Hub at the university’s Oxstalls Campus, Longlevens, Gloucester, to hear that in less than four weeks the centre was already exceeding expectations.

“Since opening on October 1 The Growth Hub has seen more than 200 businesses through the doors and is already discussing in-depth support with 61 of these,” said Katie Underhill, a spokeswoman for the centre.

David Owen, CEO GFirst and Laura Crabb, director of business development at the University of Gloucestershire, addressed the launch party audience.

They thanked in particular Diane Savory, chairwoman of the LEP, and Stephen Marston, vice chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire.

“Diane– your passion for Gloucestershire businesses and your tenacious commitment to seeing this through has been so vitally important in our success so far,” they said.

“Stephen – your dogged determination to drive change in the university and your vision for the role that higher education can play in growing the local economy is critical to the Growth Hub’s future.”

Mr Owen, speaking to Cotswold Today’s David James for a video for the Growth Hub’s website, said: “What we told Government earlier this year was we had very ambitious targets to grow the Gloucestershire economy by 55 per cent by 2025. We are very confident that if businesses are able to develop alongside the public sector we can achieve that.”

Ching Lin, chief executive officer of Join China, said: “Gloucestershire business people are always looking around desperate to find the right platforms to interact, to make change, to have The Growth Hub is a dream come true.”

Oli Christie, of Cirencester-based Neon Play, said: “When I started my company Neon Play 4 or 5 years ago, I was in my kitchen at home not really having a ‘Scooby Doo’ what I was doing.

“To have a place like the Growth Hub where I could have come, gotten advice, spoken to people and found out what I needed to do to start a company, would have been just what was needed. So now, five years later, it’s here and it’s a brilliant hub and centre for Gloucestershire.”

To see a picture gallery from the launch party visit our Galleries page or read our Business supplement on Wednesday in the Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo.

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