Enterprise & Innovation
Against the backdrop of London, Thames Valley Berkshire is the UK’s economic powerhouse. The most recent (2013) UK Competitiveness Index (Huggins & Thompson) concluded that Thames Valley Berkshire is "the most competitive LEP area in England.”
But from this strong foundation, our economy is itself changing with a far greater emphasis on flexibility, based around knowledge-rich networks with a global dimension. As we gear up for another phase of economic growth, it is this that we want to encourage – hence our commitment to secure better access to talented people and bright ideas, and to use both more effectively.
We have already established a Berkshire Business Growth Hub to support and up-skill our SMEs, and will be investing our EU Structural Funds to accelerate the creation of the first-ever Science Park in Thames Valley Berkshire. This will provide specialist space for start-up and growing innovative and technology-based companies. We are also working with neighbouring LEPs to align resources behind the pioneering 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey.
The Business is GREAT Britain Campaign offers information, inspiration and advice for small businesses that are ready to grow. The Government is committed to making it easier for small businesses to grow and, with the economic recovery beginning to take hold, the campaign is designed to both inspire small businesses to take their business plans further, and to highlight the support available to help them grow.
The campaign focuses on 3 key steps; planning for the longer-term, employing more staff and starting to export. The greatbusiness.gov.uk website provides links to advice and guidance, as well as to key business support tools, including the Manufacturing Advisory Service, Growth Accelerator and the Apprenticeship Service.