Monday, 09 June 2014 07:26

Business network boosts regional economy

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Business network boosts regional economy

BUSINESS centres in north-east England have joined forces to create a network to stimulate rural economic growth.

The Rural Connect network was launched with new and established businesses in mind enabling them greater access to business support services, accommodation and meeting facilities in rural areas.

Over 20 centres or enterprise hubs from Durham, Gateshead and Northumberland are involved.

Numerous support agencies including the North East Enterprise Agency and the Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) at Newcastle University have pledged their support for the network which encourages collaboration and the sharing of best practice.

Neil Wilson, chair of Rural Connect and Wooler Work Hub said: "Enterprise hubs are designed to support rural businesses by offering services like flexible workspace for co-working, superfast broadband and business accommodation.

Individually the centres do a superb job and they must be commended for the work they do but I am a firm believer that there is strength in numbers and by working together we are able to share best practice and encourage innovation, which in turn opens up opportunities for all our clients."

To encourage greater collaboration the Rural Connect has launched a new web site www.ruralconnect.biz which details services and facilities across the network.

Mr Wilson said: "If we are to support our clients then it is vital we work together, and this is something all of the partners appreciate.

"Over 20 agencies have pledged their support and another 20 are in the process of adding their details. I am delighted with the response we have had to the network and I look forward to seeing it develop over the coming months."

Rural Connect is supported by the North East Rural Growth Network is being part financed by the European Union's ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-13.

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