University support available to help local businesses foster innovation

Mon 08 April, 2024
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Grants of up to £20,000 are available from the University of Bedfordshire to local businesses as part of a new programme launched by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to deliver business support, growth and innovation in the region.

The initiative seeks to forge pathways to innovation while fostering a dynamic business ecosystem that fuels local pride, skill enhancement, and the expansion of employment opportunities, with £325,000 in funding available as part of the support package.

As part of this comprehensive programme, the University will deliver business growth initiatives, including activities designed to empower businesses with innovation and technological support, enhancing their productivity and competitiveness. From fully-funded participation in short courses to personalised 1-2-1 consultancy sessions with industry experts, businesses will receive tailored support to address their unique needs.

Funded by £625k of UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF) - a central part of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda – this project marks a strategic investment in local businesses operating within the West Northamptonshire region. Building upon the successful outcomes of previous partnerships, this venture is poised to deliver tangible results in business innovation and support.

Professor Andrew Church, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation at the University of Bedfordshire, said: “We are delighted to join forces with West Northamptonshire Council to empower local businesses with the tools and resources they need to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

This collaboration exemplifies our dedication to driving positive change and fostering a climate of innovation that benefits both businesses and the wider community. This partnership marks a significant step in bolstering the region’s business ecosystem, laying the groundwork for sustained growth and prosperity.”

Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at West Northamptonshire Council, added: "We appreciate the unique challenges businesses face which is why we’ve chosen to dedicate this funding to support and enable them to innovate and grow. Our ambition is to enable every business in West Northamptonshire to thrive and for this reason we have allocated the majority of our UK Shared Prosperity funding towards supporting businesses and creating employment opportunities to sustain the local economy.

“We are dedicated to providing high quality support, training and guidance and wherever possible, funding, to enable our local businesses to fulfil their potential. I encourage all businesses to take advantage of this free support as well as the range of support available on the WNC website all year around.”

To find out more about the business support available through this programme via the University’s Research & Innovation Service, click here.

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