The Rotherham area will soon have a higher profile on the international stage, thanks to a new project that aims to both support foreign businesses locating into the region, and also help existing local businesses to take their first steps to develop business opportunities overseas.
Building on two decades of successful delivery of incubation programmes and inward investment, Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RiDO), the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council will manage the ‘Soft Landings Zone’ (SLZ) project that aims to embed additional international business into the area, and help existing businesses to grow in global markets.
The SLZ project will help overseas companies looking to establish operations in the UK, explore the UK market or to use the UK as a base for further European activities. Potential investor companies from overseas will be offered a comprehensive array of services, including; fully equipped modern office facilities, available on flexible easy in/easy out terms, and with full reception & admin support. Assistance will be provided to access relevant specialist help and advice, linking to appropriate support organisations and trade bodies.
RiDO will also work with home grown companies through accelerated support programmes to develop ideas that have true potential to create export focused businesses, and help local higher education establishments to encourage spin-out companies.
Tim O’Connell, business development manager at RiDO says; “This project is an exciting opportunity, not only for overseas companies to use the Rotherham area as their home when they consider the UK as a location for their business, but also through links with UKTI and other international trade organisations to help local companies exploit potential export opportunities.
“Rotherham is the ideal place for this project as the RiDO Business Centres are the only business centres in England that have the National Business Incubation Association’s (NBIA) Soft Landings International Incubators Designation”
The SLZ project is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the 2007 - 2013 Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme. The project will run for three years and a number of activities are already in planning to undertake the SLZ project with companies both locally and from abroad.