News - 04 December 2015

First anniversary event marks year of success for D2N2 Growth Hub

Robots, help for people with disabilities and a ‘green’ courier service are among the diverse range of business activities which have been helped by the D2N2 Growth Hub – which held its ‘one year on’ celebration event today (December 4).

More than 1,500 businesses looking to expand have been helped with training, access to finance, guidance and other business needs in the first year of the D2N2 Growth Hub. It is part of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership; a private sector-led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community organisations which works to promote economic growth and jobs creation across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The D2N2 Growth Hub – which promises to ‘power up your business’ – was launched by the then Business and Enterprise Minister, Matthew Hancock, on December 5, 2014, at an event at Nottingham Trent University.

An event to mark the first successful year was again held at the University, this morning (December 4); with businesses attending who’d been given free help and advice on training, accessing growth funding, and opportunities to take part in workshop sessions on a range of topics. In addition to running its own events, the D2N2 Growth Hub team regularly attend other events across the D2N2 area, aimed at helping SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) expand.

Businesses giving presentations at today’s event, on how the Growth Hub had helped them, included:

  • WEGO Couriers of Nottingham – The ‘green’ courier uses a mixture of eco-friendly vans and bicycles, and trains, to deliver letters, packets and parcels door-to-door between the Midlands and London. WEGO has been supported by the D2N2 Growth Hub in promoting its green credentials, to raise its profile as a carbon neutral business.
  • MeArm Robotics Founded in October 2014, (by Ben Gray, pictured) the company creates the the MeArm Robot, which aims to be the world’s most accessible starter kit and learning toy for coding and robotics. It is based at the Cleantech Centre in Nottingham. They were given business assistance by the D2N2 Growth Hub, through its partner Nottingham City Council.
  • Sarah Gatford Ltd of Derby – Sarah, a qualified British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter on the National Register of Communication Professionals with Deaf and Deaf-Blind People, interprets in education, employment, legal and mental health settings amongst others, and specialises in theatre interpreting. A free Business Review conducted for her by a Growth Hub advisor helped Sarah improve her business strategy and, with training sessions, make better use of social media for her business.

Video production company Fat Free Media, and e-commerce and software agency Dijitul, also talked about the Growth Hub help they had received.

To date the D2N2 Growth Hub has helped 1,538 businesses; many of whom have called its helpline number on 0333 006 9178 or emailed , or accessed services via its website at

Around 100 people attended today’s first anniversary celebration event. Speakers included D2N2 LEP Chairman Peter Richardson; David Williams, Managing Director of Butt Foods of Nottingham and Chairman of the D2N2 Growth Hub; and Jon Egley, Business Development Manager at East Midlands Chamber.

Lindsay Allen, D2N2 Senior Programme Manager for Sector Development, said: “People have responded very positively to what the D2N2 Growth Hub has offered over the last year; simplified support services for business looking to expand.

“Businesses, new and established, know that they can come to us with a wide variety of enquiries and either we, or one of our partners, will be able to help in a way which fits their specific requirements. We have gained a lot of information and experience in finding exactly what they need.”

For more information about the D2N2 Growth Hub go to its website at, or contact the Growth Hub team direct on helpline 0333 006 9178. The D2N2 Growth Hub can also be contacted via Twitter at @D2N2GrowthHub

Media wanting further information about the D2N2 Growth Hub or Local Enterprise Partnership can contact  D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email:

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