£19m boost for Cornwall’s economy

Cornwall’s economy has been given a major boost by the launch of two new business support programmes worth a combined £19 million.

The Coaching for Growth and Cornwall Business Start-Up projects have been financed by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  Both programmes will be delivered by Oxford Innovation Services, the UK’s leading specialist coaching company, in partnership with The Cornwall College Group.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the fund which was established by the European Commission to help improve the competitiveness of small to medium sized enterprises by increasing their capacity and capability and supporting entrepreneurship.

Businesses with expansion plans after having traded for a minimum of 12 months will be eligible for the Coaching for Growth programme while brand new ventures will be supported in getting off the ground under the Cornwall Business Start-Up programme.

Oxford Innovation Services employs a highly skilled team of coaches each with vast commercial experience across a range of sectors.  Depending on the client’s activities or specific requirements, coaches with the relevant expertise will work together to provide up to 30 days of fully-funded support.

As well as stimulating growth and creating new jobs, both programmes will also incorporate the Unlocking Potential scheme that delivered positive impacts under Convergence, the previous ERDF project in Cornwall.  This will provide assistance for the recruitment and placement of specialist graduates who will support the drive for growth within engaged businesses.

For Oxford Innovation Services, the programmes are an opportunity to build on the success of work previously carried out in Cornwall.  Between 2009 and 2015, the company delivered the Coaching for High Growth programme which saw more than 2,200 new jobs created by firms that engaged with Oxford Innovation Services’ team of specialist business coaches.



Andrew Farmer, Oxford Innovation Services’ operations director, said:  “The previous programme was an outstanding success, not only in creating more than double the number of jobs that were originally targeted but in providing such a significant boost to Cornwall’s economy.  Gross Value Added (GVA) is a measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy.  The high growth and start-up businesses we worked with generated a GVA of more than £57m, also more than double the original target.

“For the new programmes, we have set even more ambitious targets and we’re looking forward to working with an even wider range of Cornwall’s enterprise community from digital and software firms to hospitality and tourism businesses, manufacturers and engineering companies.  We are particularly excited about the innovative new methods of support for our local entrepreneurs, giving them the tools they need to launch the next generation of high growth firms.”

One of Oxford Innovation Service’s clients from the previous coaching programme was World’s Apart, suppliers of children’s lifestyle products such as furniture, tents, toys and play equipment.

“We started working with Oxford Innovation Services in 2013 with the main objective to review our internal processes with a focus on product management,” said Emily Maclennan, marketing and brand director at World’s Apart.

“The support and mentoring we received from Oxford Innovation Services was pivotal in changing our approach to project management and the continuous improvement of our business.  We have a great relationship with the team and our business has benefited hugely from our working together.”

The Cornwall College Group also has an impressive track record in contributing to the local economy.  Since 2004, it has created more than 1,300 graduate level jobs at 800 Cornish businesses, with an average salary of over £20,000.

Allyson Glover, project director at The Cornwall College Group said: “To grow an economy you need skilled people, a knowledge-rich environment and sustainable jobs.  Placing graduate recruitment at the heart of these new programmes really future-proofs Cornwall’s economy ensuring our brightest and most ambitious young people can develop extraordinary and rewarding careers here.”

Businesses wishing to find out more about the Coaching for Growth and Cornwall Business Start-Up programmes should call +44 (0)1872 300116

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