Business Support - 05 June 2024

Free Expert Business Advice and Support available through East Midlands Chamber’s Accelerator Programme

Businesses in the East Midlands (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Leicester) can benefit from free expert business advice, support and workshops through East Midlands Chamber’s Accelerator Programme. 

The Accelerator Programme provides support to businesses across the East Midlands to help them start, sustain, grow and innovate. 

Fully funded and tailored to the needs of each participating district across the region, the programme can provide businesses with support that will leave a lasting impact. The programme is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and East Midlands Chamber. 

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK, investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.  

Alex Parkinson started Frances Alexandra, a small bespoke, handmade jewellery business based in Thoresby Hall Park, near Worksop in 2017, delivering jewellery making workshops. Alex attended several Accelerator workshops and accessed advisers’ support to help review and evaluate her business strategy. 

Alex said:  

“I strongly encourage fellow business owners to seek support through the Accelerator Programme. The tangible results I’ve experienced, including increased bookings and positive feedback, attest to the effectiveness of the personalised business advisory services provided.”

Ashfield-based Mill Water Café has a strong reputation for its homemade food and welcoming atmosphere. Patricia Ironside and her team have built the business up over the years. The team includes five trainees with Special Educational Needs, an important part of the business philosophy.

Patricia has always looked for ways to improve what the café provides. With competition growing constantly, it was essential to her that the business remained competitive and kept innovating.

By accessing support through the Ashfield Accelerator, project partner the Food and Drink Forum was able to help Patricia with marketing support and a grant for specialist training which has allowed Patricia to expand her offering to make and sell hand-painted and filled chocolates. 

Patricia said:  

“I’m already seeing additional business as a direct result of the training the grant allowed me to invest in. I would encourage any local business to make time to go through the grant process.” 

For more information about the Accelerator Programme, visit East Midlands Chamber’s website. 

For more information about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, visit 

For media enquiries, contact:

Nicola Swaney

Head of External Affairs, D2N2 LEP

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