More than 1,100 businesses engaged so far with Accelerator business support

A growing number of businesses in the East Midlands are benefitting from tailored business support, thanks to the Accelerator project.

Evaluation of the project’s performance at its halfway point has identified over 1,100 businesses that have been engaged and are working with a business adviser to boost their growth.

The project, which is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), was established in the autumn and is being delivered by East Midlands Chamber in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicester.

Alongside one-to-one support from a business adviser, the project has so far also delivered the following:

  • 102 growth vouchers up to the value of £2,000 to help businesses access tailored, 1-2-1 consultancy support to introduce digital technology and green measures
  • 300 workshops and webinars successfully attracting over 7,000 delegates
  • 50 energy saving and improvement audit approvals to help businesses create an action plan to save money

Businesses signing up to the project have also been introduced to the wealth of additional support available from other regional and national sources. For innovative SMEs, this includes growth and scale-up support from Innovate UK Business Growth. Manufacturing micro and small businesses can also benefit from Made Smarter support on how to switch to advanced and automated technologies.

East Midlands Chamber Deputy Chief Executive Diane Beresford said:

“From our launch events onwards, we’ve listened to what businesses want in terms of what, where, when and how they would like to access Accelerator support. We’ve set up a new Leicestershire Manufacturing Network, the first forum meeting for which will be held on 5th July at Loughborough University, as well as a new Gedling Business Support Network.

Chamber and D2N2 Growth Hub support is undoubtedly at its best when businesses are given a helping hand to apply for support from other sources, including grant funding and pitching for investor support. in Bassetlaw is one example of an Accelerator business that has been referred to the Made Smarter programme and has accessed road mapping, grant funding and leadership support as a result.

The Accelerator project has some challenging targets including the creation and safeguarding of jobs, creating new enterprises, accessing new technologies or processes and engagement in knowledge transfer activity. We’re certainly on the right trajectory to achieve that and for any business yet to sign up, I would urge them to seize the opportunity before the project ends in March of next year.”

Businesses can learn more here

Accelerator in Action

There is a growing list of businesses receiving support, some of which are detailed here.

They include:

  • Tybro in Ashfield

Tybro, a provider of high-quality precision engineering solutions, is expanding its turning department and the imminent arrival of a brand-new CNC 1350mm lathe with live tooling will take its machine shop to over 30 machines. It is an investment decision helped significantly by the assistance of a £20,000 Made Smarter grant along with support from the Chamber and levelling up funds from Lincolnshire County Council and Ashfield District Council’s Accelerator project.

“Our Chamber adviser David Smith introduced us to Made Smarter and was on hand throughout the grant process, helping me to demonstrate what impact the investment would have on the business. The grant received will help us increase our manufacturing capability. Our new machine has additional features that our current turning machines don’t, enabling us to undertake multiple operations in one setting rather than manufacturing on multiple machines.”

- Mandy Tyler, Tybro Managing Director

  • Rumbletums Café in Broxtowe 

Established in 2011 by parents of young people with learning difficulties, Rumbletums Café is a registered charity that provides homemade food and training facilities and is a community hub for all.

Team members at Rumbletums attended one of the Accelerator project’s Energy Audit workshops which gave them the tools needed to measure their energy usage, particularly regarding refrigeration and insulation. They were able to calculate the potential energy savings and even measure how much carbon would be reduced as a result. Having completed the energy audit, they had the evidence needed to apply for Council funding.

"The Accelerator programme has allowed us to put real changes into place such as reducing our carbon footprint and improving energy efficiency. Lower heating and electricity bills will reduce day-to-day costs. We have already completed attic insulation, a major improvement in the fabric of the building, which will provide lasting benefits to our business.”

- Sarah Rauch, Rumbletums Café Trustee


  • Mr Shaw in Derby

Mr Shaw is a Derby menswear brand which owners Karl and Emma Shaw run from their Sadler Gate premises. Their desire to develop a café/bar alongside their clothing retail space has to be coupled with the reality of needing ample space to house their growing clothing collection and their creative workshop, the ‘White Room’.

A Derby Accelerator High Street Grant has allowed them to create an outside café bar enabling their customers to enjoy their beverages in a quiet and relaxing garden oasis away from the bustle of the high-street front. It also means that the business can justify employing a part-time member of staff to serve the new space along with helping with the retail counter.

The business has also been awarded an Accelerator growth voucher to implement a social media strategy which is helping to raise awareness of the new café bar with a new audience.

“The support received from Steve at the Chamber has been a breath of fresh air. He’s really taken the time to understand our business and the vision we have to progress our brand and Sadler Gate. The High Street Grant scheme allows us to push forward our vision and make things possible. We’re truly grateful that retail businesses are being supported in this way.”

- Karl Shaw, Mr Shaw Designer and Director

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