Strategic partnerships

South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership

We are an active member of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), which brings together businesses, universities and colleges, community groups, social enterprises and local government to support economic growth across the region.

Use SEMLEP's labour market information to make crucial decisions for your business.

SEMLEP’S Growth Hub

Providing free business support, the Growth Hub helps local businesses to identify and connect with the right guidance and funding to maximise potential and overcome challenges.

COVID-19 Business Support

National restrictions across England may impact the running of your business. If you need support, advice or guidance on making your business more resilient, contact SEMLEP's Growth Hub.


Semlep’s Growth Hub run business skills workshops, webinars, information and networking events throughout the year to equip ambitious businesses to grow successfully. You can also find local events organised by partners and local business support organisations.

Growth Curve

The Growth Curve programme is designed to help high-growth companies by providing university-led masterclasses for business leaders, one to one sessions with business advisers and funding. This programme has been fully updated to consider the COVID-19 business environment.

Get 2021 Ready

The 12-month transition period formally comes to an end at midnight on December 31 and, deal or no deal, the parting of ways will then be official. Access fully funded support and advice to prepare your businesses.

Peer Networks

Peer Networks is a national peer-to-peer networking programme for SME leaders that want to grow and develop their organisation for future success

Economic prospectus

On 5th October 2020, the Arc Leadership published the Arc's Economic Prospectus. This sets out a joint vision for the Arc, shared ambitions and investment propositions that will enable the Arc to fulfil its true potential to deliver transformational economic growth that will benefit the whole of the UK.

Rebuilding our economy

In 2019, the South East Midlands was one of the fastest-growing areas in England, already contributing some £50 billion p.a. to the UK economy. Whilst there is still great uncertainty around the economic impact of COVID19, our area is resilient

Local Industrial Strategy

The Local Industrial Strategy looks at the successes and strengths of our area and identifies priorities and interventions to realise innovation, further improve connectivity and, achieve growth that is sustainable, inclusive and makes a positive impact on our environment.

University of Bedfordshire

The University of Bedfordshire  is committed to making a significant social and economic contribution to the local and national economy.  They are aware of challenges faced by businesses and entrepreneurs; and  have a range of academic resources and expertise to help you thrive through a range of programmes that include professional consultancy, funding opportunities, work experience placements and targeted training sessions.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)

KTPs are a long standing government funded scheme, designed to link our world-class academics with forward thinking companies for specific industry collaborations, to deliver strategic innovation projects within the UK


An EU funded programme designed to help businesses in the SEMLEP area solve some of their most challenging programmes by accessing a skilled graduate workforce.


An EU funded programme, aims to support local SMEs in improving their leadership team, sequentially making the business more profitable. Each programme is tailored to you and your business needs!

Innovation Bridges

The University of Bedfordshire can provide expertise and funding to support innovation in your SME, through the Innovation Bridges project. We can help you bring new products, processes or services IN to your business, and launch new products, processes or services OUT to the market.

Growth Curve - fully funded programme

Growth Curve is a fully funded programme for high growth businesses based in the South East Midlands. Providing tailored, face to face support, clients receive a mix of one-to-one meetings with high growth business advisers, a university masterclass with access to the programme peer-to-peer network upon completion.

The University of Bedfordshire's masterclasses are run in partnership with SEMLEP's Growth Hub, Cranfield University and University of Northampton. They each provide a different syllabus that is tailored to the business stage and experience of the client attending to ensure maximum learning to bring back to the business. Your High Growth Business Adviser will work with you to identify the course that is right for you.

Cranfield University

Cranfield University offers businesses and entrepreneurs and range of opportunities to establish and grow in a science and technology environment. They provide the perfect setting for new  company, with advanced technology and management expertise right on your doorstep. Being in a hub of innovation on their campus will be invaluable for your business, both in its formative stages and during growth.

Pre-start up advice and mentoring in conjunction with our world-leading School of Management, and the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship

AVIATE+, Cranfield University has been designated as a University Enterprise Zone and has been awarded £1.2 million from Research England to help to create a UK Aviation Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship cluster.

Cranfield University’s Business Incubation Centre (CUBIC) provides targeted facilities and support for very early stage start-ups.

Cranfield Eagle Lab, an exciting collaboration between Barclays and Cranfield University, is an innovation Lab specialising in aviation technology.  It offers a co-working space for ambitious entrepreneurs to scale and grow their businesses.

Larger or more established businesses can choose from flexible options on our Cranfield University Technology Park such as office space in the supportive Innovation Centre or self-contained units.