What’s in store for Nottingham in 2021

As the UK partner of the Scale Up project, Nottingham City Council will be using 2021 to continue to engage with their local stakeholders to implement the learnings they have taken from the project so far. Their focus will be on finalising and implementing their Action Plan with the aim of influencing the future provision of scale up support in the region.

Since the launch of the Interreg Scale Up project in 2019, the council has seen an evolution in the scale-up support services that already exist in Nottingham and its wider region. The East Midlands Chamber hosts the region’s Scale Up Services team, which includes programmes that assist with business innovation, internationalisation, strategy development and technology adoption.

Following the success of the ‘Upscaler’ programme, which is now at the end of its funding, Nottingham now has a ‘Digital Upscaler’ programme delivering in the region. The Digital Upscaler team provides one-to-one digital advice and expertise to businesses who are looking to scale up, helping them to tackle barriers to growth.

So, during 2021 Nottingham will be using the expertise of their Stakeholder Action Group via monthly meetings to consider how best to evolve the local scale up services further by integrating some of the learning they have captured from the Scale Up project.

They will continue to engage with national support for Scale-Ups in the UK, which is primarily delivered via the Scale Up Institute. The Scale Up Institute runs annual conferences and regularly communicate with the regions about scale up data and initiatives, which Nottingham will continue to learn from. A good scale up ecosystem has been developed in Nottingham, but they want to strive for improvement!

One of the local priorities they have is to provide ‘investment readiness’ support to SMEs with the aim of increasing the level of equity funding secured by businesses in the region. They anticipate this will help to boost a number of companies to scale up their business.

Finally, 2021 will be an interesting time as the UK Government continues to implement funding for business support, skills development and local infrastructure to boost economic growth following the effects of the Covid pandemic. The action planning work by Nottingham City Council will take account of any changes to the business support ecosystem and try to ensure that scale ups continue to access appropriate support for their needs.