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Bridgnorth to host event to boost rural businesses

By Thom Kennedy | Bridgnorth | Business | Published:

More than 150 rural businesses looking for support to help them grow are expected to attend a conference in Shropshire next month.

Matthew Snelson and Louise Welsby

The Accelerate Business Growth Expo and Conference, to be held on November 3, will target companies looking for support to help them overcome issues including lack of skills, poor infrastructure and broadband and where to go for essential funding.

It has been put together by creative agency Buy-From and the £4 million Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology, with the latter using its 36,000 sq ft training hub to host the mixture of networking, keynote speeches and interactive discussions.

Sponsored by NatWest, the event is £15 to attend and will feature talks from the Marches LEP, Shropshire Council, Shropshire Business Board and FBC Manby Bowdler.

“There’s a general feeling that more needs to be done to accelerate the growth of rural businesses, who can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to getting the right level of advice and guidance,” said Louise Welsby, owner of Buy-From in Bridgnorth.

“A lot of the time the barriers to expansion are fairly evident and can be overcome if the right support is offered. The issue for SMEs is finding the time or the contact, who can point them to where they can access resources and funding.”

She added: “This was the germ of the idea that quickly grew after we realised the MCMT had the same vision and desire to support firms across Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The answer was to create a conference that could start to address these issues – all under one roof.”

The Accelerate Business Growth Expo & Conference is looking to attract SMEs, ranging from one-man bands to those employing up to 50 people.

Matthew Snelson, managing director of the MCMT, will use the event to talk about the launch of the state-of-the-art training hub that will support 2,020 learners by 2020 through apprenticeships and skills improvement.

Thom Kennedy

By Thom Kennedy
Business Editor - @tkennedy_star

Shropshire Star Business Editor

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