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Cllr Matthew Relf stood on Castlewood Business Park

Enterprising Ashfield programme launches as part of Towns Fund

Businesses will benefit from a £3.8 million support programme delivered by Nottingham Trent University (NTU) that has been designed to boost the local economy by almost £19 million over the next 10 years.

The Enterprising Ashfield project – funded by the Government’s Towns Fund - will provide businesses in the Sutton and Kirkby areas with direct access to university expertise and facilities. It also provides support for local residents and local employees to enhance their skills.

The project builds on the ongoing commitment of NTU to the Ashfield and Mansfield areas as well as the University’s strong track record of delivering growth, innovation and skills programmes to small and medium sized enterprises successfully. It will deliver support designed specifically to meet the needs and challenges facing Ashfield residents and businesses.

Delivered over the next 4 years, Enterprising Ashfield consists of the following project strands:

  • A ‘Headstart’ programme – offering intensive coaching and mentoring to potential and existing entrepreneurs; equipping them with the skills and knowledge to establish, sustain and grow a successful business
  • ‘Breakthrough’, ‘Accelerator’ and ‘UpScaler’ programmes – offering support to businesses at different stages of growth; enabling them to increase their productivity, access new markets, develop new products, and/or implement a plan for growth
  • Access to graduate talent on short-term placements in local businesses to support projects and growth plans
  • Collaboration opportunities with the University to undertake specific research & development activities using NTU’s world-leading facilities and academic expertise
  • Access to flexibly delivered short courses; designed to meet local skills gaps and boost employment prospects.

Over the course of the project, Ashfield’s economy will benefit from the establishment of 225 new businesses in the area and almost 300 businesses will grow and increase productivity as a result of the support given.

900 Ashfield residents will have the opportunity to enhance their skills through training and courses provided by NTU and 150 graduates will join businesses bringing their talent and skills to the workforce.

This will result in an additional £19 million boost to the local economy over the next 10 years.

Michael Carr, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange said:

“NTU has a proven experience of driving enterprise and innovation within businesses successfully. Over the last 3 years, we have already supported over 2,700 companies, helped nearly 300 entrepreneurs to start and develop a business, and assisted 4,000 people to enhance their skills and job prospects.
“Together with our expanding presence in Ashfield, which includes a potential £1 million investment by NTU to support the planned Automated Distribution and Manufacturing Centre, Enterprising Ashfield will contribute to future economic prosperity of the area by bringing our values and our expertise and experience to its businesses and residents”


Cllr Matthew Relf, Ashfield District Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning said:

“It is fantastic to see the Enterprising Ashfield programme being launched. We have been working closely with NTU to deliver a programme that will have a really positive impact for businesses and residents of Ashfield, not just in the short term but for years to come.
“The Towns Fund investment is enabling programmes like Enterprising Ashfield to provide opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs to access world class facilities, learning and support. Not only will this have a hugely positive impact on the local economy, but it will ensure there are high value jobs and training within the District for the next generation.
“This is a really exciting programme and we’ll be working with NTU to ensure that Ashfield businesses, entrepreneurs and residents take advantage of the fantastic opportunities available.”

Businesses interested in accessing support should contact .