Tender Opportunity: D2N2 Growth Hub – Mid Term Review and ERDF Summative Assessment

The D2N2 Growth Hub provides businesses in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire with a single point of access to comprehensive business support utilising the IDB model and frontline knowledge, skills and expertise to signpost clients to the right resources to support business growth.

Tender Deadline: 3rd March 2021.

The Growth Hub is the operational business support service of the D2N2 LEP ensuring what is delivered on the ground is informed by and shapes regional growth priorities.

As a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic and EU transition, HM Government have made additional funding available for supporting the recovery of SMEs as a key pillar of stimulating recovery and building a “new normal”. This has resulted in a subtle but important change in emphasis on the delivery of the Growth Hub service.

The Growth Hub strategy hasn’t changed, we are here to support businesses to thrive and grow and be a first port of call for all business needs, but much of the delivery in D2N2 is now focused on ensuring recovery and future resilience of SMEs. In addition, the Growth Hub will need to support businesses through the transformational change required as a result of the net zero agenda and IR4.

Initial work with partners and stakeholders has identified a number of key challenges facing business (not exhaustive):

  • Adapting to survive and grow
  • People and skills
  • Financial Impact post-Covid including Access to Finance
  • EU transition and new trade regulations
  • Supply chain

Given this focus for the medium term and the fact that we are at the mid-way point in our Growth Hub ERDF contract, it is timely to undertake a review of the Growth Hub service to ensure that we maximise opportunities for improving ways of working and effective service delivery and exploring future delivery models post-ERDF in order to shape our offer in light of likely new Government policy and funding streams. In addition we would also expect the review to link across to the current national evaluation of Growth Hubs (delivered by Technopolis).

ERDF funding stipulates that a Summative Assessment is undertaken at the end of the project (March 2022). To aid consistency, this tender opportunity will cover both the Mid-Term Review and the final Summative Assessment in one commission.

Evaluation Requirements

1. The requirement of the evaluation is two-fold and will be delivered as two work packages:

  • To provide an Interim Review and Evaluation Report (by 31st August 2021) of the Growth Hub project to:
  • Help us assess how effective the project is in delivering its aims
  • Help us assess how we can interpret and integrate the BEIS / LEP goals and communicate these effectively to our customers and that the needs of businesses customers to survive and thrive are communicated effectively to LEP level
  • Make recommendations on how to refine and improve our services
  • Provide options for future delivery in light of likely HMG funding scenarios and;
  • Identify areas of best practice.

2. A Summative Assessment (by Feb 2022), as required by our funders, should be underpinned by engagement with project beneficiaries and the project team. This culminates in a final evaluation on conclusion of the project, which will focus on assessing overall impact and lessons learnt to be used to inform the design of future projects.

The immediate commission to be delivered will be work package 1 (Interim Review and Evaluation Report) of the above. Work package 2 (Summative Assessment will be agreed at a future date. Guidance on the content of the Summative Assessment is provided by MHCLG and is included in the final tender documentation.

For the purposes of this tender, applicants should provide a single quote for both work packages with the tender awarded as a single commission.

The project is part-funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Contact

Tenders should be sent via email to frank.horsley@d2n2lep.org marked “GHR1” in the subject section.

Any responses received after the tender deadline will not be considered. All responses will be acknowledged on receipt.

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