Scale-up companies to get additional support in Coast 2 Capital Scale-up Escalator
I was at the Coast 2 Capital (c2c) Escalator launch earlier this week. It included some fascinating insights into the region it covers and of course information on plans for the Escalator programme.
I’ve collected together some highlights to give you a feel for the direction of travel – only time will tell whether the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) ambitions are realised.
The c2c region runs from Croydon to Brighton taking in Epsom, Leatherhead, Reigate, Dorking, Oxted and Redhill across East Surrey and the County of West Sussex including Arun, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.
It will probably be of little surprise to know that many of the region’s residents commute to London, taking advantage of lower housing costs while enjoying the premium of higher London salaries.
In term of business, it has less Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) than other adjacent regions. So building up the SME community is seen as a priority as reseaerch tells us that SMEs are the engine of economic growth.
Businesses in the region, especially the larger businesses are in sectors that are highly invested in R&D.
- The overall c2c ambition is to be seen as the most dynamic non-city growth region in the UK, a great place to live and work – and the Escalator programme is key to achieving that.
- The Escalator program aims to help the region’s scale-up businesses grow even faster by plugging them into the support they need, locally, nationally and internationally.
There are plans in place to be the first area with 5g enabled full fibre structure to support a growing digital economy.
Data quoted by Irene Graham, CEO, Scale Up Institute, included that the UK is 3rd in the world for new business start-ups but 13th in the world for scale-ups “so we need to do better”. It has been assessed that there are 905 scale-ups in the c2c region.
Growing businesses need access to the right support. Irene Graham cited the top three needs, according to recent surveys, as access to talent, followed by better access to UK markets and thirdly leadership capacity (leadership development and training). Good infrastructure and appropriate premises are also high on the list of needs.
Aim of the Escalator
There is already a Growth HUB in the region so the Escalator program will compliment and build on that. The Escalator wants to support scale-up businesses to grow even faster by unlocking additional growth. It will start next year with a pilot program for 10 scale-up business leaders.
Selected leaders will be provided with facilitated peer to peer networking and action learning sets.
A scale-up can come from any sector. It might be a new or long established company or a family business. The determining factors are that the business has at least 10 employees and has achieved at least 20% growth in employees or turnover each year, over the past three years, although there is flexibility to include businesses that demonstrate the greatest potential for growth as well.
If you lead a scale-up or you know of a scale-up leader that may like to participate contact the Coast to Capital team.
Are you ready to find out if you qualify or how much your R&D claims could be worth?