A leading business support scheme which helps innovative businesses access finance, mentoring, and more will continue after a contract award by Warwickshire County Council on behalf of Warwickshire’s six local authorities.

University of Warwick Science Park tendered successfully to extend and expand Business Ready, which helped create more than £19 million in value and 175 jobs for businesses in the county between 2016 and 2023 as part of the £4.6 million Business Growth Warwickshire Programme which is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Warwickshire County Council.

High-growth, innovative businesses in need of support will be referred to Business Ready through the programme, and will be provided with free, tailored advice, including access to sector-specific expertise, specialist mentors, advice around finance or grant funding, and dedicated business workshops.

The team of advisers at Business Ready has great expertise across most business disciplines. They have recently recruited and added to their resources to meet the needs of those areas where demand is greatest; particularly around marketing, tech, and e-commerce. The extended team of around 40 advisors is able to deliver informed, bespoke support to the businesses they work with.

Business Ready will be delivered by University of Warwick Science Park on behalf of Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire’s five District and Borough Councils following a procurement exercise to appoint a specialist organisation to deliver a programme for high-growth businesses.

Cllr Martin Watson, Portfolio Holder for Economy at Warwickshire County Council, said: “We are delighted to be able to continue with the Business Ready programme and to expand its successful delivery model across the county.

“Many local businesses have benefited massively from the help provided by Business Ready advisers. This has led to growth and new jobs, helping to grow the regional economy, particularly in sectors that are crucial to our future which has a positive knock-on effect for everyone.”

Ian McFarlane-Toms, Business Ready Programme Manager, said: “It’s great news that Business Ready, which achieved so much success over the last eight years, is being brought back as part of the Business Growth Warwickshire Programme.

“It is rare to find a business support scheme like Business Ready which offers longer-term, fully-funded, tailored advice to individual businesses.

“We’re really looking forward to helping more forward-thinking Warwickshire businesses take the next step in their growth once again, and we’re confident we can bring similar levels of success to those that come through the scheme.”

The Business Growth Warwickshire Programme, developed and commissioned jointly by Warwickshire County Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Warwick District Council, is designed to engage with over 2,000 businesses, more than 500 of which will receive intensive, bespoke support.

The programme, funded by the UK Government (through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund via the five District and Borough councils) and £500,000 from Warwickshire County Council, will play a major role in strengthening small and medium sized businesses across Warwickshire in the short to medium term.

To find out more, please visit www.business-ready.co.uk.

Find out what other support is available to your business by calling Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub on 0300 060 3747.