DORSET’S new independent advice service for businesses is launching this month, with its web ‘portal’ going live today.

The Dorset Growth Hub is being funded with government money from the Wave 2 City Deals programme through the Regional Growth Fund.

It is being delivered by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and WSX Enterprise and reports to the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.

It is one of a series of growth hubs being developed across the country, working with key partners including chambers of commerce and educational institutions.

The idea is to ‘clarify’ existing business support services and to offer a one-stop shop for impartial advice via the internet, over the phone and through business navigators based in the field.

The navigators will provide support via workshops and clinics, offer one-to-one meetings and direct businesses to support services. There will also be opportunities for businesses to receive specialist advice, help and funding in the areas of start-up, investment, internationalisation and innovation.

Businesses with growth potential will be identified and offered further one-to-one support. There will also be extra support for firms looking to create jobs.

Lorna Gibbons, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership director, said: “We believe the Growth Hub will be an extremely valuable service for Dorset businesses. With a strong focus on supporting starts ups, developing innovation and supporting growth, the Dorset LEP considers this an important factor in driving economic growth in Dorset.”

Dorset Growth Hub manager Lucy Cooper said: “The hub will fill a noticeable gap in the Dorset business community, clarifying the business support available for varying sized companies county wide. There is a strong team in place to deliver the services of the growth hub and it will also work closely with partners to facilitate potential growth and create jobs.”

It web portal has been built by local agency Digital Storm following a tender process.

Dorset Growth Hub can be found at