VIDEO: The Forest of Dean Growth Hub opens for business
By Mark Owen and Matt Hall | 8th October 2021
The latest Growth Hub business support centre opened at Vantage Point Business Village this morning, October 8.
More than sixty guests attended the opening ceremony for the new facility in Mitcheldean, which through its flexible accommodation and meeting spaces hopes to allow Forest businesses to find their first business base.
David Owen, CEO of GFirstLEP said: "It's a big investment for the Forest of Dean. We've got businesses all over the Forest of Dean who need support and guidance to grow their businesses.
"This is a fantastic development to enable them to come and get that advice so that they can put themselves in the best possible position and maximize their own potential."
Facilities include a large meeting room, co-working, and incubation offices, fast free WiFi, break-out areas, printing facilities, dedicated parking by appointment as well as a tea and coffee station.
It is believed a 30-cover café and outside seating area will also be open from Monday, October 11.
Ruth Dooley, chair of GFirstLEP added: "There has been some presence from the Growth Hub through the libraries in the Forest, but to have a physical centre where businesses can come, talk to navigators and find out what help is available will be wonderful."
Businesses will be able to access free expert business information advice and guidance and join free training sessions that will be offered at the Growth Hub.
In-house business navigators and business guides will also be on-hand to offer bespoke support to businesses that show moderate growth and high growth respectively.
MP for the Forest of Dean, Mark Harper attended the event and cut the ribbon.
Mr Harper said: "It's fantastic. Very welcoming and most importantly it's a location where anybody with a business idea can get flexible space where they can run their business without massive commitments and grow.
If we can encourage more people to make use of a facility like this, then we will see more businesses growing in the Forest of Dean, more jobs, more investment and more success."
There are already several other Growth Hubs across the county in Gloucester, Stroud, Cirencester and Tewkesbury. A site in Cheltenham is also expected to open in 2022.
Punchline-Gloucester.com says: "We would like to salute the hard work of the GFirstLEP and Growth Hub teams to get this site up and running, in the middle of a pandemic. It really is a symbol of what can be achieved by way of business support not just locally, but nationally too."
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