Cllr Alan Cockburn and Matthew Epps of the County Council were at the Palace of Westminster this week on behalf of the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network partners to receive a Highly Commended Award at the Enterprising Britain Awards 2016.
The Awards were presented by Margot James MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers & Corporate Responsibility.
The Warwickshire Rural Growth Network, designed to help existing businesses to grow whilst providing support for new start-ups, received the Judges Highly Commended Award.
The Enterprising Britain Awards celebrate local initiatives which boost business and growth. The Rural Growth Network (RGN) was designed to help existing businesses to grow as well as provide support for start-ups – with a particular focus on supporting women-led enterprises. It delivered a flexible package of support for businesses in rural areas including workshops, one-to-one mentoring, coaching, specialist advice, small business loans, grants and new business premises.
Over the last three years the RGN has supported 738 small businesses, helped 185 people to start a business and created or safeguarded more than 550 jobs in rural Warwickshire. Businesses supported include a local brewery, a luxury glamping, camper manufacturer, advanced manufacturing and engineering companies, publishing firms, Alpaca breeders, product designers and food manufacturers. It also supported a new, highly successful Rural Innovation Centre at Stoneleigh Park which was developed in partnership with LaSalle Investment Management.
The Warwickshire RGN, one of just five pilots in the country which ran from October 2012 until earlier this year, was led by Warwickshire County Council on behalf of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP). It was funded by Defra, the EU’s Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), Warwickshire County Council and a range of private sector partners.
For more details about the Enterprising Britain Awards visit: http://www.enterprisingbritainawards.co.uk
Cllr Cockburn and Matthew were receiving the award on behalf of the wider County Council team and the partnership of 12 local partners and specialist delivery organisations which delivered the Rural Growth Network.