Scale Up Ashford scheme continues to support businesses in the Borough

As part of its continued commitment to developing the economic prosperity of the borough, Ashford Borough Council is once again working with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce (KICC) to roll out the Scale Up Ashford programme to support businesses.

Scale Up Ashford first launched in 2017 and aims to help businesses that have been trading for at least three years by providing them with the advice and tools to develop a plan to support the growth of their business. 

Each business receives 32 hours of intensive 1:1 coaching with expert coaches (from KICC) and forms part of a cohort that will be exposed to networking and shared learning opportunities.

They are also supported in creating and reaching ambitious growth goals that support not only their individual businesses but the local economy too.

The 2022/2023 cohort of 12 businesses saw the creation of 48 new jobs and an average increase in turnover of 18.6%, as well as over £400k of growth investments. Businesses in this cohort included Stephenson Bros, Ashford Outdoor Cleaning, Borderpoint Films, and Kare Plus.

Here are just some of the successes of the 2022/2023 cohort: 

  • Ashford Therapy & Rehabilitation Alliance was helped to improve its overall business structure, focusing on people management and financial control. As a result, it is in the process of expanding its clinic to the first floor to offer more rooms for practice and will be recruiting additional physiotherapists.
  • Bloomsburys was able to streamline its services to refocus away from glamping and more on couple’s retreats. This has helped refocus its businesses and increased stability.
  • Frasers of Edgerton was given the tools to look at its marketing strategy and was shown ways to utilise low-cost social media channels to directly target and engage with potential clients online. From this, it has been able to launch tours of the estate and has networked with other companies to work together on an ongoing basis to support its carbon credit initiative. 

This year’s cohort consists of seven businesses that vary hugely in their activity and come from across the borough. The cohort is made up of:

  • Label manufacturers Lemon Labels
  • Video production companies Modus Films and OCD Media
  • Opticians Brownbill
  • Tourism operators Wine Tours of Kent
  • Publishing and design company Sideways Media 
  • Construction surveyors Costplan

Businesses can register their interest in being part of the next cohort here

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