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Enterprise Hubs to support new businesses in Gloucestershire

The University of Gloucestershire unveiled the first of its new Enterprise Hubs at an event at Blackfriars Inn in Gloucester on Tuesday 9 July.

Managed by the University of Gloucestershire in partnership with Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the innovative Enterprise Hubs will enable start-up business directors and entrepreneurs to rent serviced office space, with access to mentoring, skills development and a support network, providing the support they need to grow and succeed.
Business leaders, entrepreneurs and City Council representatives were given a tour of the new facilities and mingled with current tenants from the neighbouring Quays Creative project to find out about their experience of growing a small business within an incubation unit first hand.
Building on the highly successful Quays Creative project in Gloucester Docks, the Blackfriars Inn incubation unit is the first of three new units to be launched, with a second centre, at Isbourne House in Cheltenham to be launched next Monday (15 July.)
Councillor Colin Organ, Gloucester City Cabinet Member for Housing, Health and Leisure along with David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst cut a ribbon to officially announce the centre open for business.
Vice-Chancellor Stephen Marston said: "The University is passionate about encouraging enterprise and supporting entrepreneurial activity. By creating these new enterprise hubs, here in Gloucester and in Cheltenham, we will be able to support around 100 start-up companies in the county.

"Gloucestershire has a fine tradition of innovation, and we know that future growth in the economy will depend on more people having the capability and confidence to set up new enterprises. This splendid new enterprise hub, in the heart of Gloucester, will provide an ideal setting for University graduates and others to put their creative ideas into practice. Along with our partners at Gloucester City and Cheltenham Borough Councils and with the support of the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership we have developed a programme that will give fledgling businesses the best possible chance of success."
The project is worth around €1 million in total, including match funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is part of a wider programme offering a range of support services to the community of entrepreneurs in the county. The project has the objective of improving the survival and success rates of over 100 Gloucestershire businesses over a three-year period.
Budding entrepreneurs with new business ideas are invited to get in touch with the University to find out more about renting space within the Blackfriars Inn, Quays Creative or the Cheltenham sites which will be launched shortly. More information is available at www.glos.ac.uk/incubation
The University would also like to hear from mentors, investors or service providers with experience of supporting early stage start-ups. Anyone willing to help in supporting new businesses can get in touch by emailing incubation@glos.ac.uk or call Catherine Briggs, Incubation Administrator, on 01242 714646 for further information.

The Innovation Gloucestershire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-fu...

The University of Gloucestershire gained official university status in 2001 but has existed as an educational establishment for nearly 200 years. Today, we have three thriving campuses, Francis Close Hall and The Park in Cheltenham, and Oxstalls in Gloucester, which are occupied by approximately 10,000 students. In 2010, the University invested £5 million in teaching facilities including a new, state-of-the-art media and art and design studios.

The University provides a wide range of services to business: for more information visit http://www.glos.ac.uk/forbusiness/Pages/default.aspx

Source: University of Gloucestershire

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