New facility to provide enhanced enterprise and business services to commercial and social entrepreneurs, as well as business start-ups
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy has opened a new Taskforce-funded Enterprise Hub in Fife to inspire entrepreneurs and boost business growth.
Fife Council says The Enterprise Hub Fife, which is located on the first floor of Royal Bank of Scotland’s premises in Glenrothes’ town centre, offers a joined-up ‘one stop shop’ approach to providing enhanced enterprise and business services to commercial and social entrepreneurs, as well as business start-ups.
It claims The Hub will also engage with and stimulate home business owners, sole traders and micro-businesses to locate, or have access to, ‘hot desk hub space’ that is affordable and flexible, encouraging daily and short-term affordable business use.
High speed broadband and IT connectivity will enable web-conferencing and the delivery of training workshops and webinars.
The Hub will further assist some of those made redundant in recent closures to gain vital upskilling and business training, whilst assessing self-employment options and creating new job opportunities.
Developed by the Fife Task Force, co-chaired by Cllr David Ross and Paul Wheelhouse MSP, established following the closure of Tullis Russell, the Enterprise Hub is part of the Fife Task Force’s three-year Action Plan. A total of 477 people were made redundant when Tullis Russell closed in 2015. A number of other closures in the area mean that, overall, of the 688 people eligible for extra support from Fife Task Force over 80% are now in positive outcomes, including full-time and part-time employment, self-employment and training.
Cllr David Ross, Fife Council’s Leader, said: “Members of the Task Force have worked tirelessly to successfully support people, businesses and communities affected by job losses in central Fife into re-employment, self-employment or training.
“This approach to developing and running a creative enterprise hub centred in Mid-Fife will further strengthen the services that Fife Council’s Economic Development Team delivers, along with our key business delivery partners, including Business Gateway Fife and Royal Bank of Scotland.
“Our aim is to engage with aspiring business start-ups, and micro-businesses by offering a ‘one stop shop’ approach, to stimulate growth in the local economy. By providing all the necessary resources under one roof, we are working to make it easier to access business support services, as well as encourage a collaborative business environment.”
Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “I am very pleased to be in Glenrothes today to formally open Enterprise Hub Fife, which provides local entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing businesses with a facility that will encourage collaboration, networking and promote business growth.
“These first-class business facilities include modern offices with high-speed broadband, co-working areas, private meeting rooms and a state-of-the-art events space.
“This is one of the projects funded through the Fife Task Force, which came to an end in Autumn last year, and has brought key partners together in the support of economic growth and job creation in Central Fife. I hope the hub can play a very positive role in stimulating new enterprises to be established and helping them, and established businesses, to thrive and grow in Fife.”
Susan Fouquier, Regional Managing Director for Business Banking in Scotland, said: “Fostering and encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurship is vital to the success of the Scottish economy and we are delighted to be involved in this pioneering project with Fife Council.
“This enterprise hub will not only offer a home to local start-ups but through our regional Business Growth Enablers, businesses based here have access to our local networks and benefit from our mentoring services.”
The project will see a total of £650,000 being invested over its first three years. £500,000 is being provided by the Scottish Government through the Fife Task Force, and the project is also supported by Business Gateway Fife and Fife Council. Royal Bank of Scotland is also contributing to the project by providing the premises rent free for three years.
A range of business services will be available, including support from experienced business advisors and experts, mentoring and finance services from Royal Bank of Scotland’s Business Banking and Commercial Team, access to finance to support early stage growth starts and small businesses to enhance growth plans.
The Hub will offer the following services:
Early stage enterprise support for unemployed Fifers and redundant employees
Access to skills and employability support programmes
Global entrepreneurial masterclasses via Entrepreneurial Scotland and E-Spark
Development of community driven social enterprise projects
Virtual reception services for local home business owners
Flexible rented POD rooms and small office space
Business support services via key business partners
Creative space where school students can learn more about enterprise and entrepreneurship
Webinars, training workshops and business events.