The Hub, which is run by specialist advisors from Loughborough University and Loughborough College, has opened thanks to a £750,000 funding boost through the Loughborough Town Deal.
It is understood to be among the first projects in the UK to be completed using money from the Government’s Town Deal scheme, which is designed to help regenerate town centres, boost businesses and improve infrastructure and connectivity.
The Hub teams will offer advice, guidance and support to help people develop their skills to boost the local and regional economy as it bounces back from the impact of Covid.
A Loughborough University team will provide expert support to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to launch a new business.
The University’s Professor Chris Rielly said: “The Careers and Enterprise Hub represents a really exciting opportunity to equip individuals with new skills, enabling them to build businesses which are ‘fit for the future’, agile, focused on emerging markets and committed to scaleup and growth.
“The University’s presence in the Hub will build on the success of our existing business incubator LU Inc., based on the Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP). We look forward to supporting early-stage new businesses emerging in the region, working with local partners to drive growth, employment opportunities and regeneration.”
The Loughborough College team is supporting local people by advising them on education and training pathways to boost their skills.
Jo Maher, Principal & CEO of Loughborough College, said: “We are proud to be officially opening the Careers and Enterprise Hub in the heart of Loughborough to help unlock the potential and career aspirations of local people in our community.
“We’re delighted to be working with our partners, including Loughborough University, to deliver this ambitious project as part of the Loughborough Town Deal. The Careers and Enterprise Hub perfectly positions the College to support the town’s skills-led recovery from Covid-19.”
Loughborough Town Deal is a partnership of local organisations including Charnwood Borough Council, the College, University and others, including local businesses. The Council bought the building with £750,000 of Town Deal funding which was awarded last year. However, the final Loughborough Town Deal bid submitted to Government is for £25 million.
Cllr Jonathan Morgan, co-chair of the Loughborough Town Deal Board and Leader of Charnwood Borough Council, said: “I am pleased Loughborough Town Deal is already playing a key role in the recovery of the area. Developing skills and learning new ones are going to be so important for local people as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The hub also takes an empty building in a key central location and gives it a new lease of life.”
Dr Nik Kotecha, co-chair of Loughborough Town Deal Board, said: “I welcome the opening of the hub which highlights a key theme of our Town Deal bid which is to bring our communities closer to the expertise and knowledge we have in the town, such as the college and the university. By doing this we can improve the lives of residents and support businesses in the area and the local economy.”
Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: “I’m delighted to attend the official opening of the new Careers and Enterprise Hub. This is still a challenging time for many people, but through the Government’s Plan for Jobs and our Town Deal Scheme, we’re helping level up opportunity across the country by supporting people, at any age and any stage, to progress as we push to build back better.”
As well as education and training, the Hub team can advise on CV and letter writing, plus helping people sharpen their interview skills.