Business Support & Apprenticeships

Enabling a flourishing local economy is one of the Council's three top priorities. We have lots of information to help businesses, including how we can support existing local businesses and how we can help new businesses.

The Council's approach to sustainable growth is set out in Economic Development Vision for East Hertfordshire [4MB].

This document identifies some of the important actions we are undertaking in order to support our local economy including measures we are taking to help businesses.

Starting a new business

For anybody who is thinking of starting up their own business, Launchpad provides support and advice. Launchpad is a new business innovation centre, that originally opened in Bishop's Stortford in September 2017. In June 2019, we opened another business innovation centre in Ware.

Launchpad offers 3 months hot-desking (inc leased line fibre broadband) in a modern, flexible workspace to support you in developing and growing your business venture. With options to suit every type of business, Launchpad provides the space, business advice, expertise and culture to help your business take off. It is run by East Herts and we're proud to be supporting local businesses across two towns in East Herts.

More information, including business advice and business training and development, is available on the Launchpad's website .

The Hertfordshire Start-up Programme (Wenta), part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, gives residents of Hertfordshire access to 12 hours of free business start-up support. For further information, please see their website.

Growing your business

Businesses with ten or more employees or a turnover of £1m or more who are seeking to grow can receive advice and help from the Hertfordshire Growth Hub. More information, including their latest events and case studies, is available on the Hertfordshire Growth Hub website.

In addition to the Growth Hub, The Eastern Plateau Programme was a funding initiative for rural communities and businesses in East Hertfordshire, North Hertfordshire, Epping Forest and Uttlesford. The initiative received funding from the Rural Development Programme for England, under the European Commission's Leader programme from 2008 to 2013, and obtained further funding from 2015 to 2020.

Around £1.6 million in grants has been given out between 2008-2013, and a further £1.8m allocated from 2015 to date, largely to economic development projects and SMEs, so it represents a substantial grant fund and key opportunity for rural enterprises in the area, particularly for small businesses.

The programme has now closed to applications, however an evaluation of the impact on the funding has commenced to understand more about the rural area and the future priorities. This will help inform the next round of funding. For further information please see the GOV.UK website & the European Agricultural fund for Rural Development (EAFRD website)

Eastern Plateau Programme


Although the Eastern Plateau is now closed, grant funding has recently been announced by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) covering the rural areas. For more information please go to the Gov.UK website. The Eastern Plateau Programme is funded by the Rural Development Programme for England.


Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal, (HOP), has launched to market enabling students, employers and residents to HOP into all the resources they need to make informed career decisions and build a future talent pipeline. For more information, please see their website

Grant Funding

There are several grants available to different business types. For more information on grants, see our Grants Funding for Businesses page

Tourism & Business

Vist Herts is the official tourism service for Hertfordshire and provides expertise and support for attactions, accomodations and destinations across the county to raise Hertfordshire's profile as as a tourist destination, to increase visitor numbers, jobs and business opportunities.

As well as providing support through their website and social media channels, Visit Herts also provides business to business (B2B) support with regular networking events and representation at trade events.

For more information, please visit the Visit Herts website.

Preparing for Brexit

Hertfordshire Growth Hub has provided a wealth of resources for businesses to help prepare for every eventuality when Britain leaves the EU. For more information, please see the Growth Hub website

We also have an Economic Development team who are able to provide advice and guidance on the above or any of the grant schemes available. For more details please call 01992 531581.