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Thames Valley Berkshire

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Enterprise, Innovation and Business Growth

The LEP is addressing barriers to growth by supporting business, enhancing skills and making the Thames Valley Berkshire area a business destination of choice.

We have invested £8.3m of Growing Places Fund capital into a bespoke ‘Funding Escalator’ offering loan and equity investments of £25,000 to £250,000 to growth-potential SMEs; secured £3.1m UK government and European funds for the Berkshire Business Growth Hub, the first stop shop for all business support in the sub-region; and invested European Structural & Investment funds to accelerate the creation of the first-ever Science Park in Berkshire, which will provide specialist space for start-up and growing innovative and technology-based companies.

We have provided early seed-funding to help start ConnectTVT - to join the Thames Valley’s tech and digital dots. ConnectTVT now runs from GROW@GreenPark, a hybrid co-working space to a fast-growing community of start-ups, freelancers, developers and scale-ups. It has created a stand-out events programme including Thames Valley Tech Week and the Festival of Digital Disruption, as well 50 Game Changers, launched to celebrate the region’s most innovative and disruptive businesses.

The LEP has commissioned research into Incubator, Acceleration and Co-Location Spaces across the area and is now (2017/18) turning its attention to supporting scale-up businesses, in partnership with the Scale Up Institute, Henley Business School and Biz Utd (a B2B network of Mid-Market Enterprises in the Thames Valley).

Its ‘Network of Networks’ project is gaining traction by using the area’s complex and multi-layered business networks to cascade common messages about the LEP and gain business intelligence, through informal champions/ambassadors.

More detail on support for SMEs is here: Business Support & Funding