Local Business

Altrincham Market

SME Workspaces

Funding will be used to support the development of workspaces for SMEs. £15m of UKSPF has been allocated to develop infrastructure and employment/innovation sites.

A lack of suitable workspace for SMEs was addressed in the UKSPF Greater Manchester Investment Plan (PDF, 1.2KB) and Greater Manchester Strategy (external website). The creation of sites for SME workspace can be a catalyst for growth and town centre regeneration, with the potential to create more than 800 jobs and 151 new businesses.

This funding has been ringfenced for Local Authorities and will sit separately to the individual grants allocated under Communities and Place.

All of the schemes will be existing buildings repurposed, with around 280,000 sq ft of SME workspace being created.

Cultivating Thriving Business Landscapes: Fostering Research, Entrepreneurial Networks, and Robust Support Systems

UKSPF has been allocated to support businesses and research, which will help with the delivery of the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy (internal webpage) and wider Greater Manchester Strategy (external website).

Funding has been allocated to:

  • Cost of living support for businesses: £0.5m was allocated to provide support for Greater Manchester businesses dealing with the increased cost of doing business over winter 2022-23.
  • Core business support: £7.5m was allocated by UKSPF Partnership Board and GMCA in March 2023 to commission a core programme of business support for GM’s diverse business base, running from June 2022 to March 2025.  
  • Build a Business: Based in the main library of each local authority area in Greater Manchester, Build a Business offers in-person workshops, one-to-one support and connects people to local networking events to help start-up businesses develop their ideas and turn them into profitable ventures.

    The service links small to medium enterprises and start-ups with industry-standard business information including market research, company and credit data and property resources. Dedicated workspaces, Wi-Fi, computer access and printing facilities (including 3D printing in most areas) are also available as part of the service.

  • Reducing inequalities: £0.5m is proposed to be allocated to fund experimental business support, enabling a test and learn approach around specific issues affecting Greater Manchester’s businesses. This programme is in the early stages and a Call for Evidence (internal webpage) to key stakeholders is underway.
  • Innovation Ecosystem Navigation: A new ‘Innovation Ecosystem Navigation Service’ will help businesses and entrepreneurs to bring their innovative ideas to market by connecting them to commercialisation-focused resources, university expertise and research, development and translation resources, making the existing ecosystem much more integrated and accessible.

The proposal for the allocation of funding is to commission a package of specialised support that strengthens the GM innovation ecosystem and accelerates innovation development, diffusion and commercialisation. 

It is hoped that all of the above opportunities will be commissioned by the end of 2023. 

Social Economy

A total of £825k UKSPF will be allocated to support community businesses, co-operatives and social businesses. This will support the delivery of the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy (internal webpage), alongside recommendations from the Greater Manchester Independent Inequalities Commission.

Engagement is underway with Greater Manchester’s Social Enterprise Advisory Group and other key partners.

Future engagement activity will be shared via The Chest (external website). Organisations are please asked to make sure that they are registered and to ensure their notifications are set up to receive emails regarding relevant opportunities.