Liverpool City Region Local
Growth Hub launched to streamline business support
THE Liverpool City Region Local Growth
Hub, a new platform making it easier for businesses in the City Region to
discover the best commercial advice and support to help them grow, has
officially been launched.
Developed by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in
consultation with business, government, local authorities and support
organisations, the Local Growth Hub is designed to provide a single access point
for businesses across the 6 local authority areas, to discover the right advice
and support they need to flourish.
The new Local Growth Hub web portal localgrowthhub.com, aims to create a joined
up approach to business support by actively engaging SMEs and growth businesses.
By connecting them with over 300 specialist advisors from a wide range of key
professional and commercial disciplines, it will help to drive economic growth
in the City Region.
The new service is supported by eight Local Growth Hub regional brokers who play
a strategic role in signposting and co-ordinating local and national support,
making it easier for businesses to access the face to face advice they need. The
regional brokers are: Liverpool City Region LEP, Liverpool Vision, Halton
Borough Council, Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, The Women's Organisation, Invest
Sefton, St Helens Chamber and Wirral Chamber of Commerce.
Not only will localgrowthhub.com actively enable a business growth mind-set by
delivering a client driven service, it also offers a wealth of other information
for both business and registered advisors including key industry events and live
tender opportunities from SMEs across the region.
Chair of the LEP, Robert Hough, said:- "The launch of the Local Growth Hub
marks a hugely important milestone for business support across our City Region.
We often hear from businesses that the business support landscape is a real
challenge to negotiate; the Local Growth Hub will now provide a support network
to deliver long term economic growth across our region. It has been developed to
serve one function; to help businesses grow. Many businesses simply aren't
aware of the support available to them, and the innovative Local Growth Hub
portal opens the door to opportunity for businesses."
Lesley Martin-Wright, CEO of Knowsley Chamber of Commerce said:- "We are
delighted that the Knowsley Growth Hub has been launched. We can help both
start-ups and established businesses, and provide support and advice that is
free and impartial. Our priority is to help more businesses grow, invest, and
prosper by ensuring that they receive the relevant information, tailored support
and guidance at the right time."
Paula Basnett CEO of Wirral Chamber of Commerce commented:- "Wirral
Chamber is delighted to be the Growth Hub for Wirral, we are enjoying working
closely with our City Region partners in delivering a simple, accessible and
co-ordinated approach to business growth support which meets the needs of our
Tracy Mawson, director of business services at St Helens Chamber of Commerce
commented:- "We are delighted to be delivering the Local Growth Hub for St
Helens. Whether starting a new business, looking for funding, or wanting to
achieve increased competitiveness and growth, we can help businesses to unleash
their potential through the support of the Local Growth Hub."
Councillor Eddie Jones, Executive Borough Member at Halton Borough Council
said:- "I am delighted that Halton Borough Council and Halton Chamber of
Commerce and Enterprise will, in partnership, be delivering the new Local Growth
Hub locally. Together the Chamber and the Council are best placed to understand
and support the local business community to grow and prosper. They are already
the go to organisations for business support and advice locally and so access to
a wider portfolio of local, regional and national business support services
through the Growth Hub can only be a positive thing."
Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader for Sefton Council, said:- "I am absolutely
delighted to launch this fantastic service which will help support local
businesses across the city region. Local businesses are very important to the
region's economy and it is vital that support is available to help business
owners overcome challenges they face.
Through offering both online and face to face support this hugely innovative
service will be fully accessible to all owners and will help ensure that
region's businesses can access the help and support they need, when they need
Jo Austin, Engagement and Digital Marketing Coordinator for the Women's
Organisation, said:- "The Women's Organisation have proudly been offering
enterprise support in the Liverpool City Region for 20 years this year. Our
experience over those 20 years has shown us that there is definitely an ongoing
need for businesses to be supported from concept to growth in order to sustain
their enterprises. Our region has a wealth of expertise to offer those
businesses, which makes this a fantastic place to grow an enterprise. We are
delighted to be a part of the growth hub, ensuring that local businesses have
the opportunity to tap into that expert support creating businesses that
High sugar drink brands
named in drive to beat tooth decay
PUBLIC health officials in Liverpool
are the 1st in the country to inform parents about the amount of sugar in
popular brands of soft drinks.
A high profile campaign titled:- "Is your child's sweet tooth harming
their health?" outlines how many sugar cubes are in drinks such as Lucozade, Coca
Cola, Tropicana, Capri-Sun and Ribena.
Large, eye catching cut out boards of bottles highlighting how many sugar cubes
is in each drink are being placed in areas of high footfall and buildings such
as children's centres, doctors surgeries / health centres and Hospitals.
The drive is aimed at tackling an alarming level of tooth decay in young
children in the City, with dentists having to remove teeth from children as
young as 5 under general anaesthetic on a daily basis. Around 2,000 children
in the City will have had extractions by the age of 5, and more than a third
will have suffered from tooth decay.
It is estimated the average child consumes more than their body weight in sugar
every single year; a total of 5,543 cubes, more than 3 times the recommended
Councillor Tim Beaumont, Mayoral lead for wellbeing, said:- "Through no
fault of their own, families simply don't realise how much sugar is in some of
these drinks. As well as leading to poor dental health, it is contributing to
the obesity issue in Liverpool which means that one in four children starting
primary school are overweight, rising to 38 percent for secondary school age
pupils. What we're trying to do through this campaign is get the message across
that even drinks which are marketed as healthy such as orange juice and
flavoured water have large amounts of sugar in them. This is about getting
families and young children into healthy habits which will hopefully last a
lifetime and prevent future unnecessary pain and trauma."
The campaign highlights that 500ml of Lucozade contains 15.5 cubes (64 grams) of
sugar while an equivalent bottle of Coca-Cola has 13.5 cubes (54 grams);
against a maximum daily allowance of 5 to 7 cubes for children depending upon
Even healthier options such as Tropicana orange juice have 7.5 sugar cubes (30
grams) in a 300ml bottle.
Director of Public Health, Dr Sandra Davies, said:- "We are the first
local authority in the country to name how much sugar is in specific brands
because we feel it is really important that all parents have the facts they need
when making decisions about which drinks to give their children. Many of us are
not in the habit of studying labels on drinks and the evidence that we have is
that people don't realise how much sugar is in them, so we are taking steps to
support them to make healthier choices. Our advice to parents is to take their
child to the dentist by the age of one and teach them to brush their teeth
correctly from an early age. There is also a wealth of information online in the
Parents are being urged to swap their children to water, low fat milk and sugar
free drinks to give them a healthier start in life and stop them getting into a
habit which could cause obesity and lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and
some cancers later in life.
Sondos Albadri, Reader and Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry at the University
of Liverpool, said:- "There is a myth that baby teeth are not important,
but the fact is that they are vital as they help guide adult teeth into
position. Persistent infections can be detrimental to the child general health
and early loss of baby teeth can also lead to problems with adult teeth later in
life. The problem with tooth decay in Liverpool isn't only confined to younger
children and we are increasingly seeing children aged between 12 and 16 at the
Dental Hospital. I had to remove 15 adult teeth on a 14 year old recently,
and while that is an extreme case it is by no means a rare occurrence. All of
this is largely preventable by reducing sugar intake and keeping teeth clean by
brushing twice a day."
More facts about sugar and how people can cut back are available by at the NHS
or download the sugar smart app on the iTunes app store or
FACT FILE - THE NUMBER OF SUGAR CUBES IN POPULAR DRINKS:-
► 15.5 - Lucozade (500ml).
► 13.5 - Coca Cola (500ml).
► 12.7 – Frijj chocolate milkshake (471ml).
► 8.25 - Capri-Sun (330ml).
► 7.5 - Tropicana orange juice (300ml).
► 7.25 – Ribena (288ml).
► 5.75 - Volvic flavoured water (500ml).
► 0 - tap water.
Each cube = 4g of sugar.
TOP TIPS FOR PARENTS:-
► Keep sugary drinks and treats to mealtime only.
► Encourage your child to drink only water and milk between meals.
► Always check labels for sugar content.
► Get your child to brush their teeth twice a day.
► Take your child to the dentist at least from the age of 1.
St Helens shopping centre
transformed into giant catwalk by renowned fashion expert
VISITORS to a St Helens shopping centre
were treated to a fashion spectacle when top models took to a giant catwalk to
showcase the latest styles.
Fashion on the Move saw models taking part in
a flash mob-style spectacular at Church Square Shopping Centre.
Stores taking part in the event, hosted by
former international model Sally Mansell, included River Island, Topshop and
BHS, Davinci Menswear and Fat Face.
Sally, who has also hosted parties for
Hollywood A-listers George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, transformed the shopping
centre into a giant catwalk. Models and performers burst into dance every hour,
showing off the latest looks available in the mall.
Shopper Jenny Hogan and her 10 year old
daughter Grace, a pupil at St Julie's Primary School in Eccleston, St Helens,
loved the show and were inspired to buy items they saw on show. "Grace
spotted a pair of shorts on one of the models and we're going to buy them for
the summer," said Jenny, a nurse, who also has a son Jack, 8. "We
didn't know it was happening but it was a nice surprise and great fun."
Michelle Alexander and her daughter Isobelle,
8, from Sutton, St Helens, also enjoyed the fashion show. Michelle, who works at
the University of Liverpool, said:- "We were on our way to buy shoes for
Isobelle and came across the show. It's really good and Isobelle particularly
loves the dancing."
Church Square Shopping Centre manager Steven
Brogan said:- "Fashion on the Move proved to be a terrific event,
succeeding in creating a real buzz around the centre. Shoppers really enjoyed
seeing the latest styles, as well as watching the dancing. We were lucky
to have a top fashion expert like Sally who has so much experience in the
industry and really knows her stuff."
Highlighting the styles available in Church
Square in the coming months, Sally predicts spring and summer trends will
include cut off shoulders, while bead and trim will feature heavily.
"Bold, graphic stripes will be popular,
especially in primary colours, but at the same time, floral wallpaper style
fabrics are coming through, alongside chunky, angular jewellery. I
think ankle straps on shoes on making a comeback, while skinny jeans are being
left behind in a return to more structured denims."
Church Square Shopping Centre is open daily
and home to a range of big name stores; such as:- River Island, BHS, Boots and
Superdrug; along with independent retailers plus the busy St Mary's Market.
Details on what's happening at the centre can be found