The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) exists to support local businesses and help them thrive
Central to the LEP’s support is its Signpost 2 Grow service that connects businesses with the help, support and funding they need to grow. It’s for all types of business, whether you’ve got an idea but aren’t sure where to start, have been trading for a while and are looking to take on your first member of staff, or simply need funding to invest in capital items. ‘Signpost 2 Grow has details of every grant and support scheme we’ve found for businesses. It’s all in one place and there’s a teamof navigators on hand to help you find exactly the kind of support you need,’ says Laura.
Businesses can search themselves at www.signpost2grow.co.uk or get in touch directly to enlist the help of the navigators. ‘The navigators are experts on the local markets, so they can save a lot of time and get you to where you need to be. And of course the service is completely free.’ The Peterborough area has a proud agricultural and food heritage that continues to play a major part in the local economy. The LEP can help businesses involved either directly or indirectly in agriculture to access agri-tech grants. Recently, for example, a local app developer accessed funding to make an app for the agricultural industry.
‘We’re really lucky to be able to fund a variety of businesses across Peterborough via the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative,’ says Laura, ‘fromhelping coffee roaster Masteroast buy new equipment, to working with food labeling and robotics business OAL. There’s a really rich history of farming and food processing here, and there are companies leading the way and looking for that next step up.’
A skilled workforce is the fuel behind any successful business. The LEP helps to nurture talent through its funding of The Skills Service, run by Opportunity Peterborough. One of the major outputs of The Skills Service locally is the annual Careers Fair, held at The East of England Showground and attended by more than 600 students. Other events include mock interviews, business debates and enterprise challenges – all focused on preparing students for the world of work.
‘Many business leaders tell us that the biggest problem they face is finding people with the right skills to grow their business. By linking businesses with schools we can help young people to better understand what opportunities are available to them locally,’ says Laura. ‘They can ask future employers questions and discover just how diverse an industry might be, which means they can make better informed choices. ‘It also means businesses can better understand what young people perceive of the jobs available from them, so they can communicate those opportunities more effectively.’
The Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership exists to help local businesses in every way possible, growing their success and delivering long-term sustainability to the business community.
The help you need To find out how the LEP can help your business, or for details of the Signpost 2 Grow service and Eastern Agri-Tech grants visit www.signpost2grow.co.uk or call 01733 602060.