New business support service launched in Harborough district

Published Monday 2 October 2023

Businesses across the Harborough district now have access to a new funded business support programme, the Leicestershire Business Advice Service.

UKSPF/Levelling Up logo
This project has received funding from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The free-to-access support will include start-up workshops, accelerator programmes, one-to-one advice and more to help businesses at all stages of their journey. Whether you have a business idea, have just started out, are an established organisation looking to accelerate your growth or just need a bit of advice to help with your business planning, the Leicestershire Business Advice Service will be able to support you. 

Harborough district businesses will be able to access face-to-face appointments with advisors at the Harborough Innovation Centre in Market Harborough, as well as a range of training workshops across Leicestershire.

The set up of this service is a partnership between the seven district councils in Leicestershire: Harborough District Council, Blaby District Council, North West Leicestershire District Council, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, Melton Borough Council, and Charnwood Borough Council, although support in the Charnwood Borough Council area won’t start until April 2024.  

Each council has funded the Leicestershire Business Advice Service through their allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Funding. This project has received £78,478.57 from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, through Harborough District Council’s allocation.

Cllr Phil Knowles, Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “Businesses of all sizes continue to face challenges, so I welcome the addition of extra support for them. The provision of more local-based business support will give people the information, skills and connections to start-up, protect and grow their business.”

The service will be provided by Exemplas who are experienced in delivering business support programmes that helps SMEs develop, communities thrive and local economies grow. 

Martin Coats, Operations and Commercial Development Director at Exemplas, said: “Exemplas is pleased to bring our expertise and proven experience in economic support and development to deliver this much needed service. We’re excited to introduce a team of advisers that not only have experience in starting and running successful businesses, but also know the county well and will help businesses flourish.” 

This support replaces previous EU funded programmes which have now come to an end. The Leicestershire Business Advice Service will run until March 2025.  

Business can sign up to the service now via the website: or email 

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit