A NEW business support service from a partnership involving Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and the University of Portsmouth has won the praise of Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage.
Solent Growth Hub is a one-stop-shop that signposts companies and entrepreneurs in the Solent region to grant funding, training and other support.
Visitors to the website can find details of national and local phone helplines and face-to-face business support, mentoring and coaching.
The hub has come from a £2.5m Regional Growth Fund bid.
The funding was unlocked following confirmation of the wider City Deal agreed between the government and the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton.
Ms Dinenage, a member of the business, innovation and skills select committee, praised the new service when she attended a Meet the Buyer business matchmaking day at the Ageas Bowl.
She said: ‘The hub will help businesses through those crucial first couple of years. It will give them the back-up they need to navigate the first few years which is when they look to grow.
‘It’s really valuable and I’m proud that our area has one of the first growth hubs in the country.’
Hampshire Chamber is delivering the hub following the funding bid from a consortium of partners led by the University of Portsmouth.
Denise Barlow, the chamber’s head of projects, said: ‘The hub will support innovation, growth and enterprise in the Solent region by providing access to expertise and specialist services.
‘It is designed to help ambitious businesses implement their growth strategies.’