A fully-funded support programme for businesses in Northumberland has assisted 55 companies in its first year, boosting their collective turnover by a total of £5.3m.
The Business Northumberland High Growth Programme, which offers established and start-up companies in the county free support in reaching their growth potential, is currently at its halfway point, having already secured or created more than 60 jobs.
The £1.35m initiative, supported by North East European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money, is being run by Oxford Innovation, whose team of expert coaches are delivering the programme on behalf of Arch, the Northumberland Development Company, and Northumberland County Council.
Programme manager Mike Jobson said: “We were always very ambitious about what could be achieved but the progress so far is really quite startling. To see a combined increase in turnover almost four times the original investment is a clear signal of the effectiveness of the programme.”
Participating businesses so far include Active Composites and The All-In-One-Company in Ashington, Solar Capture Technologies in Blyth, Amble’s Quest UAV and Morpeth’s Anarchy Brew Co.
Jobson added: “For most clients, this has been their first experience of coaching.
“Some have required very specific, practical support on business planning, sales forecasting or marketing while for others, we have provided mentoring for individuals or teams. I’ve been hugely impressed by the ingenuity and dedication of the businesses participating in the programme and by the receptive manner in which they have embraced the concept of coaching.”
Elsewhere in the UK, Oxford Innovation has worked with more than 2,500 high-growth businesses.