Monday, June 24, 2024

Further support for Ashfield businesses to innovate and grow

Businesses in Ashfield are set to benefit from a new scheme commissioned by Ashfield District Council.

“Ashfield Accelerator” will help local businesses to improve productivity through innovation and digital technology, reduce energy costs and access new overseas markets. Additional help is available to develop their workforces and get access to finance.

Ashfield Accelerator will support businesses to:

  • Reduce energy bills and move to Net Zero with 1-1 specialist advice to develop comprehensive energy audits and decarbonisation plans.
  • Adopt digital technologies and take advantage of national programmes such as Innovate UK EDGE and Made Smarter through help from Innovation and Technology Specialists.
  • Take advantage of overseas trading opportunities by producing an export or import strategy, undertaking research into overseas markets and actively preparing a product or service for export or import.
  • Develop their workforce to increase employee capabilities, improving local productivity and business support will be focused on the district’s four key sectors: Manufacturing, Construction, Wholesale & Retail, and Transport & Storage (Logistics).
  • Access finance including specialised consultancy through growth voucher support and grants to enable them to find suitable solutions that create sustainable growth.
  • Grow their networks for collaboration with other local businesses.

The scheme is being delivered by East Midlands Chamber and is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Councillor Matthew Relf, Executive Lead Member for Growth, Regeneration and Local Planning at Ashfield District Council said: “The Accelerator programme will be a huge boost to many businesses located in Ashfield who need some support to increase their productivity. The Council’s Business Support Team are available to offer advice and guidance to any local business that needs some additional support.”

Diane Beresford, Deputy Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber, added: “Ashfield Accelerator will help businesses across the district to improve their operations in a number of areas, whether it be developing a more energy efficient business, developing a decarbonisation plan, embracing all that innovation and R&D has to offer, developing their workforce or finding new overseas customers and suppliers.

“Each business is unique so it’s important we learn as much as possible about them from the get-go to match them to the support most suited to their goals. The first port of call for a business is a meeting with one of the team of locally based Advisers and Specialists, employed by the Chamber, who will assess a business’s diagnostics and produce a Business Action Plan.”

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