Business growth scheme for firms

Firms in the Lutterworth and Broughton Astley area are 
being encouraged to take
 advantage of district-wide business growth initiatives.

Harborough District Council wants to work with firms in the district to promote growth as part of its Open For Business scheme.

It has seen the creation of a business sounding board - regular meetings between the council and businesses - as well as the Spark competition for small business entrepreneurs.

The council also wants to ‘scale up’ the operations of the Harborough Innovation Centre (HIC) by advertising its benefits and the services offered by its operating company Oxford Innovation more widely across the district.

But fears were raised at an executive meeting last week that companies in the west of the district were not taking advantage of the scheme in the mistaken belief it is for Market Harborough only.

Speaking at the meeting, Broughton Astley-area councillor Mark Graves said: “HIC is identified by its geographical location. Be careful calling this a scaling-up of HIC when HIC means nothing to many of the businesses over the western side.”

The meeting also heard that very few of the entries in the Spark business competition came from the Lutterworth area.

Council leader Blake Pain said: “A lot of the applicants were central to Market Harborough. We’ve got to do a lot more to engage businesses from across the district in this. We’re trying to find a positive way of doing that.

“This is about supporting businesses and its about time we had a blueprint for that.”