‘Excellent’, ‘a great networking opportunity’ and ‘a fantastic idea’ were among some of the comments when MP for Devizes Constituency, Claire Perry joined local entrepreneurs, council members and business community groups to celebrate the launch of the new Rural Enterprise Hub; a free-of-charge business support facility in Netheravon operated by Landmarc Support Services.

Coinciding with Business in the Community’s Give and Gain day on 17th May, the event was a great success, giving small business owners the chance to network and exchange ideas and also to see the office facilities that will be available to use during business hours.

MP, Claire Perry welcomed the opening of the Hub and the fact that it provides more than just computer and reprographics facilities, but a place for the local business community to come together to access expertise. She said, “Coming in to Government from private industry, I’m very keen to see initiatives like this that support local businesses. The fact that it is co-located in a working, office environment will also be of real benefit to local users.”

Tim Martienssen, head of service delivery, economy & regeneration for Wiltshire Council also attended the event and explained how the new facility fits with the region’s Enterprise Network (TEN); a major project to create a network of council-run business incubation sites across Wiltshire and Swindon. He said, “We are aiming to create a network across the county to provide business support and infrastructure and, although we are creating a number of centres, we can’t be everywhere.

“Places like the Hub are ideal as they provide both the physical resources needed to operate a small business but also somewhere local for SMEs to receive mentoring support rather than having to travel long distances.”

Mat Roberts, head of Sustainability for Landmarc added, “We hope that the launch of our Netheravon Hub is just the start. Landmarc operates UK wide and we are working with our regions and key supply partners to identify other rural areas we can support. Our next targets are Wales and Cumbria.

“The Hub isn’t just aimed at local entrepreneurs however. We will also be offering support and advice to military personnel leaving the forces as they look for alternative employment opportunities.

“At Landmarc, we really hope that local businesses and the communities that live and work in Wiltshire will get behind this new scheme and the range of resources we can offer.”

Anyone interested in visiting the new facility or learning more about the range of resources on offer should contact Gemma Fear on 01980 671800 or email [email protected].

The event was also attended by Business in the Community’s rural business connector for Wiltshire, Geraldine McKibbin and Eliot Jones, President of the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce.