Hertfordshire – the new global business hub?
We’ve been publishing our Private Wealth Guide to Hertfordshire and Essex for many years now – and yet, every single year we find new examples of what an excellent home these two counties make for thousands of local businesses.
In January 2024, for example, multinational tech giant Google revealed that it would be investing $1 billion (c. £785 million) in a new UK data centre campus in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. The news came just a few years after Hollywood’s Sunset Studios chose Waltham Cross as the home for a new £600 million film and television studio which, according to Broxbourne Borough Council, will inject £3.4 billion into the area’s arts and culture sector.
In addition, Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire is set to undergo a 400,000 sq ft expansion by 2027, which is expected to create 4,000 jobs across the UK.
Perfectly placed for business
It is little wonder that so many global household names are choosing Hertfordshire as the ideal location to expand their operations. Centrally located within the so-called ‘Golden Triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge and London, it is little wonder that Hertfordshire LEP’s medium-term economic plan, covering 2017-2030, is titled Perfectly Placed for Business.
The Golden Triangle is known for its rich network of businesses and research centres working within the pharmaceutical, healthcare, medical and life sciences sectors. It is also home to some of the world’s leading universities, including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Imperial College London, Kings College London, University College London and the London School of Economics.
Hertfordshire, in particular, is host to some of the biggest household names in the life sciences industry, including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Just over the border in Cambridgeshire is AstraZeneca, the home-grown hero of the UK Covid-19 vaccine and another of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies.
Excellent resources for fledgling startups
Hertfordshire isn’t just a great place for multinational corporations – it also provides plenty of help, support and resources for businesses at the very beginning of their journey.
Hertfordshire Growth Hub
Since 2015, Hertfordshire Growth Hub (part of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, or LEP) has helped thousands of businesses to start and scale up. Its team of business specialists are on hand with free, one-on-one advice and information, including business strategy support, help with finding funding opportunities and a wide range of webinars, online resources and networking events for burgeoning businesses.
Hertfordshire LEP SME Growth Loan Scheme
This fund offers loans of between £200k and £500k to SMEs in Hertfordshire to help them expand their business activities and achieve growth.
Hertfordshire Business Expansion Grant Scheme
The scheme offers grants of between £10k and £100k to help business invest in capital equipment.
The Get Enterprising scheme is a fully funded business support scheme is currently set to run until 2025. It is designed to offer businesses that have been established for less than five years crucial advice around finance, marketing and technology to support business growth.
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