Growth Hubs & Councils can support your business

Encouraging growth, helping local businesses, providing advice and support

+ LEPs: Funding has been withdrawn at the beginning of April 2024
+ Growth Hubs: Mixed picture regarding growth hubs, formerly part of the LEPs.
+ Local Business Support: Councils, growth hubs still important part of support and advice
Graphic of man pointing to chart with rising line

UPDATE: The Role of Local Enterprise Partnerships is changing

The UK government has decided to withdraw central government support (core funding) for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) from April 2024 and transfer their functions to local and combined authorities.

This decision is part of the government's commitment to empowering local leaders by integrating LEP functions into local democratic institutions, as outlined in the Levelling Up White Paper. In a letter to the LEP Chairs, Combined Authority Mayors,Local Authority Leaders, and the Mayor of London, Dehenna Davison, Minister for Levelling Up, Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, and Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Enterprise, Small Markets and Business said:

"The Government will now support local and combined authorities to take on the functions currently delivered by LEPs. Where not already delivered by a combined authority, or in areas where a devolution deal is not yet agreed, the Government expects these functions to be exercised by upper tier local authorities, working in collaboration with other upper tier local authorities over functional economic areas as appropriate."

There has been some mixed reaction to the news. Mark Bretton, the LEP Network Chair said “The announcement today marks a watershed moment for the LEP Community and should be seen as nationally significant for the economy" but Debbie Francis, who chairs the Lancashire LEP, described the government’s decision to cease its funding as “disappointing”.

Reasons for the Decision
The government aims to embed a strong, independent, diverse local business voice into local democratic institutions. Transferring LEP functions to local authorities removes a layer of bureaucracy and prevents duplication, as many local authorities already have a formal relationship with their LEP. This integration is expected to streamline decision-making processes and improve efficiency in delivering government programmes and local economic planning.

Plan for LEPs Going Forward
In discussing the withdrawal of funding from the LEP network, Cllr Tim Oliver, CCN Chairman and Leader of Surrey County Councils said “While the government have clearly set out that LEP functions should be transferred to upper-tier councils, it still allows LEPs to continue to operate independently without government support. While recognising these are private enterprises which the government cannot abolish, this could create duplication and confusion locally, and therefore they should only continue to function following consultation with the relevant upper-tier council."

Government expects that integration of LEP functions into areas with a devolution deal or into upper tier local authorities will be undertaken as quickly as possible, ensuring a smooth and orderly transition. LEPs will continue to operate until April 2024, after which their functions will be transferred to local and combined authorities.

The government has provided guidance on the integration process, detailing the next steps for LEPs and local authorities. LEPs' current roles include business representation, local economic planning, and delivery of government programmes. These functions will be delivered by local government in the future, where appropriate and where they are not already delivered by a Combined Authority.

Impact on Business Support for UK Companies
The integration of LEP functions into local democratic institutions is expected to have a positive impact on business support for UK companies. By streamlining processes and removing bureaucratic layers, local authorities can better deliver Growth Hubs, Career Hubs, Digital Skills Partnerships, funds (such as Growing Places Fund, Getting Building Fund, Local Growth Fund), inward investment advice, business support, and advice for sectors. This change will enable local authorities to be more responsive to the needs of businesses and provide more efficient support for their growth and development.
LEP report - a unique partnership for economic growth, September 2022

Guidance for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local and combined authorities: integration of LEP functions into local democratic institutions

"Since the publication of the Levelling Up White Paper, government has made strong progress on extending devolution across England and remains committed to empowering local leaders by integrating Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) functions into local democratic institutions.
The Spring Budget 2023 set out that government was minded to withdraw central government support (core funding) for LEPs from April 2024 and to transfer LEP functions to local authorities, where appropriate and where not already delivered by combined authorities."

Read the Guidance here
Until these changes come in to effect, Growth Hubs remain one of the best sources of guidance, information and sign posting to comprehensive business support.
Like the Growth Hubs and Local Councils, BizEquals wants to help join local and national business support together, across both the public and private sectors.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF or the Fund) is a central pillar of the UK government’s ambitious Levelling Up agenda and a significant component of its support for places across the UK. It provides £2.6 billion of new funding for local investment by March 2025, with all areas of the UK receiving an allocation from the Fund via a funding formula rather than a competition. It will help places right across the country deliver enhanced outcomes and recognises that even the most affluent parts of the UK contain pockets of deprivation and need support.

It is designed to reduce bureaucracy and allow local decision making to better target the funds towards local priorities.

The Fund’s interventions will be planned and delivered by councils and mayoral authorities across England, Scotland and Wales – ‘lead local authorities’, working closely with local partners and the Scottish and Welsh governments.

In Scotland and Wales we want to use existing strategic geographies and local authorities to draw on the insight and expertise of local partners, including businesses, the voluntary sector and Members of Parliament to target interventions where most appropriate.

In Northern Ireland, UK government will have oversight of the Fund. We want to work closely with local partners to design a Northern Ireland investment plan. We will refine the plan in consultation with stakeholders in a way that reflects the needs of Northern Ireland’s economy and society. This group could include representatives from Northern Ireland Executive Departments, local authorities, businesses and the community and voluntary sector.

What are Local Enterprise Partnerships and their Growth Hubs?

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were set up in 2010 and were designed to get the private sector's expertise involved in local economic decision-making. The government's assessment was that local places understood both their local economy and their economic needs far better than central government.

The LEPs were defined as “joint local authority-business bodies brought forward by local authorities themselves to promote local economic development”.

Their predecessors, the Regional Development Agencies (RDA) were replaced as the existing local and regional boundaries they were based on often had little real relationship to economic reality on the ground. Their 'mission' was to “provide the clear vision and strategic leadership to drive sustainable private sector-led growth and job creation in their area."

Growth hubs provide business support

In order to meet the aim of providing better, more 'joined-up' business support, LEPs set up Growth Hubs, designed to help improve the coordination and delivery of business support.

With a broad-based recognition that the business support landscape can be complex and difficult to access, one of the functions of growth hubs is acting as a sign-post for businesses to the appropriate support services.

Growth Hubs employ different business models involving a wide-range of partners to deliver the support. They have developed according to local needs and the capabilities of local partners such as local authorities, Chambers of Commerce and other public and private sector organisations.

The Devolved Governments

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own national business support agencies. Explore what the other home nations do to help their businesses.

Scottish Enterprise

Business Wales

N. Ireland Business Info


See what support is available locally
Find your local Growth Hub

What is the key purpose of Growth Hubs?



Rather than providing detailed advice themselves, they signpost companies to the right resource.

Public & Private

Public & Private

Bringing together the public and private sectors in a coordinated manner to create a one-stop shop for advice and support.

photo of two men working at laptops with the words Get the right advice when you need it super-imposed on top

The Right Advice

Using their expertise to understand your business and ensure you get the right advice you need to help you grow and be more productive.

Find An Event

Find An Event

Coordinating a wide variety of events covering a range of advice covering topics such as types of finance, marketing and digital skills.

Business Engagement with Growth Hubs


Local Growth funding


additional private investment

> 1million

businesses engaged through Growth Hubs

> 180k

jobs created

as at 30 September 2019

Manchester town hall

Manchester Town Hall

What role does local government play?

Local government (county/district/borough/city/unitary councils) is responsible for providing a wide range of services for people and businesses within a defined area.

One of their key responsibilities is the fostering of local economic growth, using local people and local knowledge best suited to understand and respond to local needs. The current economic environment is challenging, as previous problems of insufficient digital infrastructure and inadequate skills to meet local employer demands have been exacerbated by the Covid crisis and the current economic uncertainty.

Find your local growth hub

Updated to March 2024

Business Growth West Midlands logo March 2024

Business Growth West Midlands

Business Growth West Midlands offers fully funded guidance and support programmes for business leaders aiming to grow.

Expert Business Advisers provide tailored support on funding, finance, business advice, sustainability, and skills development.

Cheshire and Warrington LEP logo March 2024

Cheshire & Warrington Growth Hub

If your businesses is based in Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester or Warrington, we offer a range of support whether you are an individual on your journey to starting a business, an existing business looking to grow and expand, or an organisation looking to build a base in Cheshire and Warrington.

Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub logo March 2024

Coventry & Warwickshire Growth Hub

We’re your single gateway to navigating the best private and public sector business support available. We’re your foot in the door, your insider knowledge, your expert resource. We’re in your corner.

Dorset Growth Hub logo March 2024

Dorset Growth Hub

The Dorset Growth Hub offers professional guidance to Dorset's ambitious pre-starts, start-ups, micro-businesses, and SMEs aiming for growth.

Supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the hub provides a minimum of 12 hours of support to eligible businesses focused on expansion.

With a team of 12, their expertise spans various aspects of business, and some team members also manage their own businesses, offering a unique perspective on the challenges of scaling a successful company.

Heart of the South West Growth Hub logo March 2024

Heart of the South West (HotSW) Growth Hub

The Heart of the South West Growth Hub provides independent diagnosis and referrals to existing business support services. We are the first point of contact for businesses in the Heart of the South West LEP area wishing to develop and grow. 

Boost - Lancashire's Business Growth Hub logo March 2024

Boost Business Lancashire

Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. Our purpose is to help Lancashire’s businesses grow.

Whether you’re a start-up, large business or somewhere in between, Boost can help get you the right growth support. We provide funded growth programmes as well as helping businesses navigate the best private and public sector business support available.

Growth Plaform - Liverpool City Region Growth Company logo March 2024

Growth Platform - Liverpool

Growth Platform is Liverpool City Region’s economic enabler, designed to support people and businesses to realise their potential and generate growth.

Our role is to strengthen and simplify our regional landscape, creating a sustainable economy that reflects the needs of all our business community across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

North East Growth Hub logo March 2024

North East Growth Hub

The North East Growth Hub is a crucial part of the LEP's Business Growth strategy. Business growth and access to finance are key drivers for more and better jobs. They are necessities in addressing market failures to support stronger indigenous businesses to drive up GVA and employment. 

Solent Partners  logo March 2024

Solent Partners

The Solent LEP Growth Hub is a FREE service and act as a first point of contact for all your business support related queries. Our aim is to simplify your route in accessing the business support that you require, allowing you to concentrate on your Business.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub logo

Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Growth Hub

The Growth Hub was established by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to play a major role in the drive for strong, sustainable business growth across the LEP area.

It acts as the focal point for businesses that wish to grow by referring them to co-ordinated and cohesive growth programmes, business networks, growth groups and links to specialist information, advice and services.

Berkshire Growth Hub logo march 2024

Berkshire Growth Hub

Free Business Advice and Support for Berkshire Businesses
At the Berkshire Growth Hub, we offer impartial business advice, specialist support programmes and a range of events for businesses in Berkshire—all free of charge. Whether you are an established business with ambitious growth plans, a new start-up, a scale-up company or an entrepreneur looking to turn your ideas into a business, we can help.

Worcestershire Growth Hub logo March 2024

Worcestershire Growth Hub

The Worcestershire Growth Hub provides businesses with comprehensive, free support and guidance throughout their lifecycle.

With a dedicated helpline, a website, and personalised, sector-focused assistance, businesses can access invaluable resources for starting up, growth, skill development, networking, and financing. This support system is designed to help businesses at every stage to thrive and succeed.

Buckinghmshire Business First logo March 2024

Buckinghamshire Business First

We are a business-led, business-focused community for new, established and growing businesses across Buckinghamshire.

Coast to Capital Growth Hub logo March 2024

Coast to Capital Growth Hub

The Coast to Capital Growth Hub provides free and impartial government funded business support in Greater Brighton, West Sussex, East Surrey and Croydon which can help your ambitious and innovative business achieve growth.

Business Hub Cumbria logo March 2024

The BUSINESS Hub Cumbria

Working across Cumbria, our free and impartial support is delivered by expert business advisers, giving you the right advice at the right time for your business.

As part of the national Growth Hub network, we’re here to help you find the best advice, funding or events to turn your growth aspirations into a reality.

Enetrprise M3 Growth Hub logo March 2024

Enterprise M3 Growth Hub

Aimed at businesses looking to succeed in the Enterprise M3 area, the Enterprise M3 Growth Hub is an expert advice and resource network which helps businesses achieve results quickly through a free personal, tailored service focused on Growth.

Business Lincolnshire logo March 2024

Business Lincolnshire

Business Lincolnshire is set up to help support Greater Lincolnshire based businesses to start and grow. Business Lincolnshire hosts a Growth Hub – a single place to go to for business experts and mentors, support and guidance, grants and finance.

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Hertfordshire Growth Hub

At the Hertfordshire Growth Hub we help established businesses with real potential for growth to access the support they need to achieve even more. Our business advisers are Industry experts, ready to work with you to diagnose exactly what your business needs and help you make it happen.

West Yorkshire logo March 2024

West Yorkshire Business Support Service

If you’re a small to medium sized business based in Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield or York, we can guide you through the complex work of business support.

Local Grow London logo March 2024

Grow London Local

We know that no two businesses are the same, so why should the same advice be for everyone?

We’re free and impartial, with decades of collective experience. As part of the national Growth Hub network, we’re here to help you find the best possible solutions to your problems. No matter what stage your business is at.

OxLEP Business logo March 2024

OxLEP Business

As the growth hub for Oxfordshire, it is our aim to simplify the business support landscape and help individuals and businesses to easily connect.

We're here to help small businesses (SMEs) find the support they need. We offer prompt, friendly, impartial advice and will signpost you to the right business support for you and your business by directing you to expert advice and national and local support programmes.

South East Business Hub logo March 2024

South East Business Hub

The South East Business Hub is here to help your business on the path to growth and prosperity.

Through this portal you can access bespoke business support in your local area. Businesses in East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock can find information, advice, and access to finance.

Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub logo March 2024

Swindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub

The Growth Hub is an exciting new online community developed exclusively for the businesses of Swindon and Wiltshire.

The Hub directs you to a wide range of impartial business support and advice, as well as providing valuable insights, access to events, specialist programmes and funding to help your business thrive.

Marches Growth Hub logo March 2024

Marches Growth Hub

The Marches Growth Hub offers a single point of access to information and guidance on business grants, loans, support and advice available to enterprises across the region, regardless of sector or size of development.

York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub logo  March 2024

York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub

Whether your business is starting, growing or scaling, we can help.
As the Growth Hub for York and North Yorkshire, we enable businesses of every size and sector to access what they need to drive success and manage growth.
By its very geography, York and North Yorkshire is home to a diverse range of businesses. Regardless of size or sector, we are here to provide free and impartial business support. We are government-funded but locally based, which means that we can provide tailored support based around the needs of our unique region.

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough CA Growth Hub logo March 2024

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough CA Growth Hub

The CPCA Growth Hub is funded by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority and is here to connect your business to the help, support, information and funding that you need to thrive and grow.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub logo Marh 2024

Growth Hub Cornwall & Isles of scilly

We work with local businesses, including self employed people and not for profit organisations to find the right guidance and support to help their business work smarter, develop and grow.

D2N2 Growth Hub logo March 2024

The D2N2 Growth Hub

D2N2 Growth Hub provides businesses in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire with a single point of access to business support. Our team of Growth Hub Business Advisers and our dedicated telephone enquiry service have the knowledge, skills and expertise to signpost you to the right initiatives and resources to support your business growth.

The Growth Hub (Gloucestershire ) logo March 2024

Gloucestershire Growth Hub

The Growth Hub is here to help your business maximise its potential.

Whether it's sourcing funding, developing your team or breaking into new markets; our experts are on-hand to consult, connect and collaborate.

GM Business Growth Hub logo March 2024

GM Business Growth Hub

We support businesses at all stages of their growth journey with our broad range of services. We offer expert one-to-one and peer-to-peer business support, events, specialist programmes, funding and much more.

HEY (Hull and East Yorkshire) Growth Hub logo March 2024

Hull and East Yorkshire Business Growth Hub

HEY Growth Hub covers the whole Hull and East Yorkshire region, including the city of Kingston-upon-Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. To make sure that we can support businesses across all parts of this region, our advisors are employed by – and based with – the two regional local authorities: Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Business Gateway Growth Hub logo March 2024

Business Gateway Growth Hub

The Growth Hub is a single place to access business support across Leicester and Leicestershire. We offer free and impartial advice to help all local businesses, with a particular focus on those who are looking to grow and increase productivity. 

New Anglia Growth Hub logo March 2024

New Anglia Growth Hub

New Anglia Growth Hub can help your business access a range of business support services from hundreds of sources. The hub’s service is FREE and IMPARTIAL and can help you access grants, finance, start-up support, international trade support and other specialist advice from single point of contact.

South Yorkshire Growth Hub logo March 2024

South Yorkshire Growth Hub

South Yorkshire Growth Hub aims to be the single point of contact for all business support across our region.

It aims to simplify all the regional and national business support that is available to businesses, so that you as a business owner/manager always know where to go to find the right support. Our experienced teams can provide direct support and also advise and signpost to the most appropriate support based on your business needs.

South East Midlands Growth Hub logo March 2024

South East Midlands Growth Hub

SEMLEP’s Growth Hub is here to help local businesses realise their ambitions through free impartial information, advice and guidance. We have expert knowledge of the national and local business support available. Using this, we support small to medium businesses with different aspects of running a business, from finance to innovation to marketing and so much more.

Tees Valley logo March 2024

Tees Valley Business

Get Support For Your Business
We can help you to start, grow or access funding and finance.

As the Local Growth Hub for the Tees Valley, we are here to help ambitious SME businesses and budding entrepreneurs in Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees get the support they need to grow.

West of England Growth Hub logo March 2024

West of England Growth Hub

The West of England Growth Hub provides tailored support, expert guidance and access to finance and support programmes to help you achieve your business goals. We support SMEs throughout Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire.