We recognise the huge contribution that businesses large and small make to the local economy. We will continue to champion the benefits of innovation, research and development in in our key sectors to support our region’s recovery and growth.
The D2N2 Growth Hub is a vital network for growing ambitious businesses across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire. It provides free, relevant, and impartial support to help achieve their growth ambitions and it’s helped over 9000 businesses since opening in 2014. Last year it generated over 9000 referrals for business support and finance providers.
Improving the capacity and capability of our businesses will be an essential part in addressing our productivity and competitiveness. This means supporting both the low carbon growth of our productive and high-value firms, who have the potential to improve our GVA, and ‘levelling up’ those that lag to do more.
As we drive activities to support our recovery and growth strategy – our key strategic document up to 2030 – we will develop the business case for a range of new interventions to support businesses to adapt to seize the long-term advantages of digitalisation and automation, and to be resilient to the impact of Covid-19 and climate change.
D2N2 Manufacturing Advisory Panel
June 2021 saw the inaugural meeting of the D2N2 Manufacturing Advisory Panel. The panel aims to support and accelerate the growth, productivity, and competitiveness of the manufacturing economy in the region. Led by Martin Rigley MBE, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Lindhurst Engineering, the panel’s private and public sector members include local manufacturing business leaders, the region’s universities, local authorities, and business organisations including Make UK.
D2N2 Investor Development Service
With support from the Department for International Trade and Investment (DIT) and our local authority partners we have launched our D2N2 Investor Development Service to provide a free account management service to foreign owned companies based in the region. The new service provides regular market intelligence and facilitates new opportunities, as well as providing a conduit to localised Government support.
D2N2 Business Investment Fund
The D2N2 Business Investment Fund is a £2 million grant scheme to support growing businesses to improve competitiveness, productivity and their ability to take advantage of commercial opportunities. Grants were available to fund 35% of a total project cost, from £3,500 – £30,000. This has supported 157 SME investment projects, leveraging £3.9m of private investment. The majority of larger grants have tended to support large equipment purchases, predominantly in the manufacturing sector. Others have used the grants for IT upgrades, systems integration and website developments.
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the West Midlands and East Midlands. It provides a range of affordable financial products to small and medium-sized businesses (SME) across the D2N2 region such as Small Business Loans, Debt, Equity and Proof of Concept funds to help businesses achieve their growth ambitions. The fund has supported more than 25 businesses across D2N2 with over £10 million of support. Collectively the fund has invested £100 million in small businesses across the Midlands, making 481 investments in 350 businesses.
Peer Networks is a peer-to-peer networking programme for SMEs that is delivered locally by the network of Growth Hubs across England. The D2N2 Growth Hub Peer Networks is designed for business leaders who want to grow and develop their organisation for future success. The Hub creates diverse cohort groups of individuals to collaboratively work through common business issues. Through interactive action learning, our Growth Hub enable businesses to discuss their own challenges, gain and reflect on valuable feedback and implement practical solutions to overcome them.