NAC implemented an Account Managed approach for businesses with growth potential and the recruitment of 5 business growth managers tasked with creating bespoke growth plans was completed in November 2014.: 150 growth potential businesses were identified and an aspiration set that 450 jobs would be created over 3 years.
Team North Ayrshire partners formed a steering group to help support the development of the offer and the delivery of aspirations. This has led to individual commitments from each partner that is significantly more than ever delivered in north Ayrshire.
The desire to do more in North Ayrshire has led to a number of key aims including :
- Double the Scottish Enterprise Account Managed businesses over three years
- Increase consumption of Scottish Enterprise products by 30% year-on-year
- Increase number of North Ayrshire Council Account Managed businesses by 20% year-on-year
- Increase start-ups in North Ayrshire by 15% year-on-year
- Increase the number of businesses within the Business Gateway growth programme to 25
- Increase memberships of Ayrshire Chambers of Commerce
- Support the NAC International Strategy
The TNA approach to support the growth of local businesses has already seen early signs of success and the wider engagement seen has helped identify and develop the future required provision, notably international and innovation services.
- Innovation: Scottish Enterprise has supported this work through a pilot to widen the take up of innovation related products by NAC growth related businesses. This has proven to be extremely successful with a number of joint events delivered and referrals for 80+ businesses accessing SE Innovation Services. This has led SE to roll out the model nationally and helped inform the requirements for NAC Innovation support.
- Scottish Development International and Irvine Bay have also supported the development of the International Strategy particularly through Inward Investment activities. The strategy looks to attract key businesses to the area and also increase support for businesses to export. This partnership approach again has helped NAC define its offer.
The continued focus of the TNA partnership and desire to create Scotland’s best support for business has identified areas of further development and the partnership will look to further enhance support provision in the following areas:
- Mentoring Lead: Chamber: Development of the mentoring offer to allow every business in North Ayrshire access to a mentor if beneficial to business growth plan
- International Lead: NAC/ IBRC/ SDI: Development of the offer for inward investment and exporting activities
- Innovation Lead NAC/ SE: Increase provision to support innovation in business: building on recent SE/ NAC pilot
- Skills and Education Lead: Ayrshire College: Alignment of offer for business support/ engagement
- Communications Lead : NAC: Development and delivery of TNA messages
- Insights Lead : SE: Supporting business intelligence in North Ayrshire